Orange pheasant

My husband doesn’t usually go pheasant hunting, because it’s difficult to do without a hunting dog, and our Olde English Bulldog just doesn’t seem to like the outdoors…or being active…or being awake.

So I haven’t had the chance to eat pheasant before, but this year he went hunting with a friend and shot a pheasant. I didn’t know how to prepare it, so I asked my co-workers and volunteers how they make it but still wasn’t sure how I wanted to make it.

“It’s an Asian bird, why don’t you cook it Asian style?” my husband asked.

Brilliant!

The ringneck pheasant originated in Asia, where there are a variety of pheasant species. Pheasants were introduced in Europe around 1,000 B.C., but what we call the ringneck pheasant was first introduced to Europe around 1,500 A.D. By the 18th century, the game bird had reached England.

The first successful introduction of pheasants to the United States was in 1881 in Oregon, and then hunters in the Midwest wanted to bring the birds farther east. They began bringing in birds from wherever they could find them. Some were ring-necked pheasants, and some had black-necked bloodlines, so what we know as the ringneck pheasant today is truly a cross between species.

Since they are originally from Asia, I decided to try making an orange chicken recipe I had found on Pinterest and turning it into an orange pheasant recipe.

It turned out absolutely tender and delicious, so if you have some pheasant in the freezer that needs eating, try this out!

Orange Pheasant

2 pheasant breasts (1 pheasant), cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 cup cornstarch

1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 cups water
2 cups instant white rice

Marinade:
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Sriracha
1/4 tsp. ground giner
1/4 tsp. black pepper

To make the marinade, whisk together all the ingredients in a small bowl. In a medium-sized bowl, pour 2/3 cup of the marinade and place pheasant chunks in the marinade, tossing to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Keep the rest of the marinade in the original bowl.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Remove pheasant from marinade (discard this marinade) and toss, while still moist from marinade, in cornstarch. Place in heated skillet and cook about 2 minutes per side until golden brown.

Pour excess original marinade over the pheasant and cook for about 2 minutes, continually stirring, or until the marinade thickens on the pheasant.

Meanwhile, make instant rice according to package directions.

When pheasant is done, serve over white rice. Sprinkle sesame seeds and green onion over the top, if desired.

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