The pheasant is exactly the bird that is most often served to the table during weddings and other holidays as a treat. Its meat is dietary, that is, it contains less fat, so you need to cook it carefully so as not to overcook it and keep it juicy. Pheasant can be cooked in many ways, but the most popular is the grilled or fried dish.
Part 1 of 3: Make the meat juicy
Step 1. Prepare the saline solution
Boil eight cups of water (2 liters) in a large saucepan. Add half a glass of coarse or sea salt, two tablespoons of sugar, and a few bay leaves.
- As soon as the saline solution boils, remove the container from the heat, cover and allow to cool to room temperature.
- This amount of solution will be sufficient to treat one large or two small pheasants.
- The bird must be soaked in this solution to keep the meat juicy. Also, the salt will dry the skin and make it crispy and tasty in the future.
Step 2. Soak the pheasant
Immerse the pheasant in the water as soon as the solution has cooled to the desired temperature. Cover and refrigerate for four to eight hours.
- Since the pheasant is a lean bird, its meat can dry out during the cooking process. Soak it in the solution to keep the meat juicy and tender.
- Small pheasants can be soaked for about four hours. In addition to making the meat juicy, the poultry will also absorb the salt, so you shouldn't soak it for longer than the required amount of time. Young birds need less time to soak than older ones.
Step 3. Remove the bird from the solution
Take out the pheasant when you're ready to start processing it. Place the carcass on the wire rack and allow excess moisture to drain.
Part 2 of 3: Saute the pheasant
Step 1. Preheat the oven
The pheasant is cooked at a low temperature, but the oven must first be heated to a high temperature for a crispy crust. Preheat oven to 260 ° C.
Step 2. Stuff the bird
As with turkey, you can stuff the pheasant or leave it unstuffed. The filling will make the poultry taste varied and preserve the juiciness of the meat.
- The most popular fillings for pheasant are chopped onions and diced apples. Use the whole onion and apple, or only half of each ingredient.
- You can also use chopped bell peppers and carrots or about a glass of any other vegetables as a filling.
- Do not stuff the bird too tight or it will creep.
Step 3. Brush the bird with vegetable oil or butter
Place the pheasant on a baking sheet with the breastbone facing up. Use about two tablespoons of butter or vegetable oil to brush the skin. This will make it appetizing and crispy.
To add flavor, sprinkle a thin layer of herbs and spices such as rosemary, pepper, thyme, or sage over the oil. Avoid using more than one teaspoon (5 grams) of spices to avoid overpowering the delicate flavor of the poultry
Step 4. Fry the poultry at high heat for about 15 minutes
This time will be enough for the crust to become crispy and the meat juicy. A layer of oil will prevent the crust from burning.
- After 15 minutes, lower the temperature to 177 ° C and continue cooking for 30-45 minutes.
- The presence of a kitchen thermometer will allow you to control the temperature of the meat. Finished poultry has internal temperatures between 68 and 74 ° C.
Step 5. Let the meat cool
Remove the pheasant from the oven and let it brew for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving. So the meat inside will remain juicy and will not dry out.
Part 3 of 3: Cook the Grilled Pheasant
Step 1. Slice the meat
To grill poultry, take a saline-soaked pheasant and cut it into eight pieces. You will have two wings, two fillets, two thighs and two legs. In addition to the soaked poultry, you will also need a boning knife. Place the pheasant on a flat surface with the breastbone facing up before cutting.
- Cut off the legs and thighs of the bird. Use a knife to cut off the meat where they meet the torso. Pull the thighs and legs away from the carcass with your hands. Then lay the bird on its side and cut the joints with a knife.
- Separate your legs from your hips. Lay the pieces flat and cut the joints that connect the legs to the thighs.
- Divide the sternum and wings. Lay the bird sternum upward and remove the spine to split the sternum in half. It is necessary to guide the knife along the contour of the sternum around the thymus to the wings. Slice the meat and separate the sternum from the ribs.
- Separate the sternum from the wings. Place the sternum with the skin on a cutting board and cut the knuckles that connect it to the wing.
Step 2. Heat the grill and add the seasoning
If you are using a grill or barbecue, preheat it to 135 ° C. You can season the meat in the following way:
- Drizzle each piece of meat with two tablespoons (12 ml) of maple syrup or barbecue sauce (optional).
- Shake each bite with salt and pepper to taste. You can sprinkle the meat directly on top, or add seasoning to a sauce or syrup.
Step 3. Prepare the meat
It is necessary to put the meat on the wire rack with the skin facing up to dry it, and then turn it upside down. Let the meat sit for four to five minutes before turning it over again. Cook for another five minutes.
You can add flavor to the meat by sprinkling each bite with a spoonful of apple cider vinegar two minutes before turning off the grill
Step 4. Let the meat rest
Before serving the pheasant, it is recommended to let the meat “rest” so that the meat juices freeze and the temperature drops slightly.