In Northern California, when the chill hits the air, not only is it crab season, it’s pheasant hunting season. When we were young, all the males in the Calhoun family would head out to hunt pheasant in rice fields outside of Yuba City on Thanksgiving weekend, and would usually bring home a boat-load of pheasant. Below is our Uncle Ken and Aunt Vivian Calhoun’s recipe for pheasant.
Calhoun kids with Grandpa Reg
Here is a recipe for preparing wild pheasant. I think three pheasant serve eight people nicely. I have used five pheasant, doubled the recipe, and served sixteen. The recipe also works well with chicken. Be sure to use the broth left in the bottom of the roasting pan to make gravy. A little California wild rice alongside is great, too.
- 3 pheasant, cleaned and cut into pieces
- Olive oil for frying
- Flour for dredging
- 2 cups chopped green onion
- 2 cups chopped celery
- 2 cups chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup low-salt chicken stock
- 11/2 cups sauterne or sherry (or any dry, white wine)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Flour the pheasant pieces. In a frying pan over medium heat, brown the pieces on both sides. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the green onions, celery, and parsley. When the pheasant pieces are browned, transfer them to a 2- to 3-quart ovenproof casserole with a lid, and evenly cover them with the vegetable mixture.
In a small bowl, combine the chicken stock, sauterne, salt, pepper, and paprika. Pour the mixture over the pheasant. Cover and bake for 2 hours. Check occasionally to make sure the broth does not boil away. If it does, add a little water or wine, or both. Bake until meat is tender and cooked through.
Ken and Wayne Calhoun with a boat-load of ducks