Pheasant Made Easy

| December 14, 2013 | 0 Comments
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Pheasant Pâté - Mmm!

Pheasant Pâté – Mmm!


  • 3 pheasants
  • 8 cups rendered duck fat
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons Pedro Ximenez Sweet Vinegar – Gran Reserva 25 Year
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme

Quick Recipe:

  • Heavily salt pheasant and leave to cure in fridge for 24-36 hours
  • Rinse meat and in a large pot and completely submerge in duck fat.
  • Let it confit for 4-5 hours.
  • Once done, strip meat and discard the bones.
  • On low, mix meat, 2 tablespoons of vinegar and thyme, and 2 cups of duck fat together
  • Place on toast or crackers

Part of the fun of learning to hunt has been learning how to cook the birds we bring home. Pheasant meat is very dry and so is quite different from the chickens that many of us know how to cook. My friend and prominent Seattle chef, Matt Dillon, suggested that I make a pheasant confit and turn it into a pâté. It sounds scary and intimidating but it’s really quite easy!

Pheasant pâté is a great recipe if you want something savory and delicious but do not have a lot of time to dedicate to cooking the food.  To begin, after your pheasant is butchered, heavily salt the bird and let it cure for 24-36 hours. At the end of the salting period, rinse the meat and pat it dry and place in a big pot and submerge it in enough duck fat to cover it completely. You can find rendered duck fat at any butcher and most grocery stores and is reusable. I cooked three pheasants at once so I used about eight cups. Next, you want to cook your pheasant low and slow at 175 degrees for 4-5 hours, this is also known as confit. You want the meat to fall easily away from the bone and this is also a good indicator that it is done.

After the confit cools, strip the meat and discard the bones. Put your meat in a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment and add two tablespoons of fresh chopped thyme and about two teaspoons of Pedro Ximenez Sweet Vinegar – Gran Reserva 25 Year into the bowl as well. If you can’t find this brand any dark vinegar should work just fine. You can add salt and pepper to your own taste preferences. I added two cups of the rendered duck fat (from the confit), which helps keep moisture in the pheasant. Again, pheasant is a naturally dry and bland meat so the introduction of fat into the meat is important. Mix on a low speed until the pâté is smooth and easily spreadable on a piece of toast or cracker. Now you’re done! See that wasn’t too difficult!

Category : Good Eats

Misha Abbenhouse

About the Author ()

Being surrounded by the Great Northwest for the entirety of my life I have come to really enjoy the outdoors, loving the rain almost as much as the fleeting sunshine and all the activities that come along with it. I've always loved animals especially those of the equine and canine variety. My intense interest in dogs led me to start writing about the adventures that Indy, my black lab, and I shared. Aside from animals, I love to read and write and college really fostered this love and I now find myself being able to couple my two great loves of writing and dogs.

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