First if you haven’t read our blog about ways to cook pheasant, especially this delicious white game bird chili recipe you better go read it it first here and then come back.
So after creating the best pheasant chili on the planet I had a batch go bad… I screwed up and got in a hurry and did my math wrong. I was doing two big 8 qt slow cookers full with 10 whole birds and as I started adding spices I did my math wrong on the Cayenne pepper…. It was so hot that for me it was uneatable I can’t do spicy food. Folks that eat food made in the fiery pits of hell still like it anyway so it didn’t go to waste, but I ate a bowl anyway. I felt I had to. I harvested those birds, I prepared them and then my stomach suffered for the next day and a half… Man it was hot.
Lying in bed last night after a great opening weekend of pheasant hunt here in Utah; thanks to the wonderful French Brittanys that partnered with me this weekend, I had birds in the fridge waiting for me to redeem myself and the ideas flooded my mind at 4 AM.
So I changed things up a bit and I am telling you I outdid myself. This is the best batch I have ever made in my life.
I will share some of the changes but keep the secret ingredients secret. The only way to taste the best of the best is come visit us during pheasant season to pick up a new companion or bring one back to visit us again and share a day in the field with us and I will make it for you.
First this time I put the leg quarters and one can of chicken broth in the slow cooker on low for 7 hours. The meat literally fell apart at that point and I have never had an easier time removing the ligaments and I was able to get much more meat off the legs much more cleanly. It takes longer than the pressure cooker method but it was worth it. My next experiment will involve playing with that broth a bit to enhance the flavors in a subtle way. I have a great idea for that rolling around in my head something similar to what I do for my deep fried turkeys. On that tangent I really want to deep fry a pheasant this year for Thanksgiving as well.
Back on task I next put the breasts in the smoker at 220 degrees until they were almost cooked through, but hadn’t dried out. I breast out the birds and so without the skin on them they can dry out if you are not careful. It just takes so long to pluck them I don’t do it.
After smoking them I cut them in cubes and built the chili with them and the leg meat.
I am not kidding this was the best dish ever. Of course I had one more secret ingredient come to mind in the very early dawn and I am telling you this ingredient perhaps made the fullness of flavor like nothing I had ever tried before.
Come spend a day in the field with us or invite us up to your fields and we will clean and cook the birds!