Pheasants are one of the most popular game birds, and one that you can enjoy at home without having to hunt one yourself. At Lake Geneva Country Meats, we’re proud to have Wisconsin’s own MacFarlane pheasants in stock. Roasting a whole pheasant gives you a delicious meal of slightly gamey, yet lean meat. Care must be taken to not overcook them meat, and we do recommend brining them before roasting. Follow this recipe for great results, and let us know what you think!
- 1 Whole Pheasant (you can also do two pheasants at once)
- 8 cup Water (if you like)
- 1/2 cup Kosher Salt
- 2 Tbsp Sugar
- 2 Bay Leaf
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- 1 bunch Thyme
- 1 bunch Rosemary (half whole)
- 1 Apple (half chopped)
Bring the water to a boil, then add the kosher salt, and sugar. Stir to dissolve. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, add the pheasant and bay leaf. Refrigerate in the brine for 4-8 hours. After brining for 4-8 hours, remove the bird from the brine, and let sit, uncovered in your refrigerator for 12 hours to dry the skin.
Take the pheasant out of the refrigerator, and let sit at roomer temperature for 30 minutes. Rub the outside with olive oil, and season with black pepper to taste. Add the half bunches of whole rosemary and thyme, and sliced apple to the cavity of the bird. Place in an oven preheated to 450ºF and roast unocvered for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes of roasting, remove the bird from the oven, and turn heat down to 350ºF. Season the outside with the chopped fresh hops, to your taste, and return to oven. Roast for an additional 30 minutes, and check the temperature of the thigh meat. It should be 155ºF. Cook until the bird reaches this temperature.
Once the thigh meat reaches 155ºF, remove from oven, and let rest for 15 minutes. Remove aromatics from the cavity before carving, and carve the bird as you would any other poultry item. Serve with roasted potatoes and root vegetables. Enjoy!