How to Fry Pheasant

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All over the country, falls signals the beginning of the game bird season, which typically runs from mid-October through January. Along with wild turkey, pheasant is near the top of many hunters' favorite game birds list. When it's prepared properly, pheasant makes a tasty meal. Pheasant is a medium-sized game bird, so you may need two to feed a family of four. Once your hunter has bagged, dressed and cleaned the pheasant, you can cook it in a number of ways, including frying. Farm-raised pheasant is also available in supermarkets and specialty food shops.

Things You'll Need

  • Deep fryer
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • Thermometer
  • 2 pheasants
  • Paper towels
  • Cutting board
  • Meat mallet
  • 1 tsp. meat tenderizer
  • Knife
  • 2 bowls
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Whisk or fork
  • 1 /2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry instant potato flakes
  • 2 sleeves snack crackers, crushed
  • Salt and pepper
  • Slotted spoon
  • Preheat the cooking oil in your deep fryer to 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Rinse each pheasant in cool running water, and pat them completely dry using paper towels.

  • Remove the skin from each pheasant, and tease the breast and thigh meat away from the carcass with a sharp knife. Place the meat on a cutting board.

  • Sprinkle each piece of meat with a light coating of meat tenderizer. Pheasant meat is a bit tougher and drier than chicken or turkey, and the meat tenderizer helps keep it moist and tender during cooking.

  • Pound the meat lightly with a meat mallet, until all pieces are an equal size and thickness.

  • Use a sharp knife to slice the pheasant meat into strips, and set them aside.

  • Beat the egg and milk together in a small-to-medium mixing bowl, using a whisk or fork.

  • Combine the flour, instant potato flakes, crushed crackers, salt and pepper in another medium-sized mixing bowl.

  • Dip each strip of pheasant meat into the egg mixture. Then dredge it in the flour mixture, rolling it around several times until it's thoroughly coated.

  • Place eat strip of pheasant meat into the deep fryer. Fry the strips until the coating turns a nice golden brown, about 5 minutes.

  • Remove the strips from the heated oil with a slotted spoon, and set them on paper towels to drain.

Tips & Warnings

  • Figure on getting about two servings from each pheasant.
  • As an alternate and tasty way of tenderizing it, place the pheasant meat in a large bowl, covering it completely with milk. Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator, allowing the meat to soak for 6 hours.
  • Use a 10-inch or 12-inch cast iron skillet to fry pheasant meat instead of a deep fryer, using 1 cup of canola oil or bacon fat from approximately six strips of bacon. Use a candy/oil thermometer to check the temperature of the oil in the skillet.
  • Leave the skin intact and immerse the entire pheasant in your deep fryer to fry the whole bird at once, if your deep fryer is large enough.
  • Take care not to overcook your pheasant meat. Overcooking causes it to become very tough and dry.

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References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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