Barley and I had a special hunt the other day and got a wild rooster with a long tail like I haven’t seen in a long time. It was so refreshing it took me back 20 years.
Pheasant Noodle Soup: A Tradition of French Brittany Hunting
The French Brittany region is renowned not only for its beautiful landscapes, but also for its rich hunting tradition. The French Brittany dogs, known for their intelligence and agility, have been reliable hunting companions for centuries. These dogs are particularly adept at hunting pheasants, which are a local delicacy in the region.
One of the most popular ways to enjoy this game bird is in a hearty, comforting pheasant noodle soup. This recipe combines fresh, locally-sourced ingredients with traditional French cooking techniques to create a dish that is both delicious and deeply rooted in Brittany’s culinary heritage.
- 1 whole pheasant
- 2 onions, diced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 3 celery sticks, diced
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- Fresh thyme
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 250g egg noodles
- Parsley for garnish
- Large stock pot
- Sharp chef’s knife
- Cutting board
If you aren’t a hunter or don’t have access to freshly hunted pheasants, check your local butcher shop, farmers market, or specialty food store. You could also consider ordering from reputable online sources that specialize in game meats.
Preparing the Pheasant and Noodles
Start by thoroughly cleaning the pheasant and removing any remaining feathers. Cut into quarters and set aside. Prepare your vegetables by dicing the onions, carrots, and celery, and mincing the garlic.
Cooking the Soup
In a large stock pot, add the pheasant quarters, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Fill the pot with water until all ingredients are submerged.
Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Let the soup simmer for about two hours, or until the pheasant meat is tender and falls off the bone.
Remove the pheasant pieces from the pot and let them cool. Once cooled, remove the meat from the bones and shred it into bite-sized pieces.
Strain the broth to remove the cooked vegetables and herbs, then return the broth to the pot. Add the shredded pheasant meat back into the broth.
Bring the broth back to a boil and add the egg noodles. Cook according to the noodle package’s instructions, usually about 7-10 minutes.
Once the noodles are cooked, season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley.
The result is a beautifully layered soup, with the richness of the pheasant perfectly complemented by the freshness of the vegetables and the comforting familiarity of the noodles. The key to this dish is balance – ensuring that no single flavor overpowers the others.
Taking the time to prepare this pheasant noodle soup at home is not only a nod to the French Brittany hunting tradition, but also a delicious way to appreciate the art of French cooking. This soup is sure to warm you up on a cold day, and the depth of flavors will have you appreciating every spoonful. Bon appétit!