pheasant legs

cedahm

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,180
Location
Colorado
I save pheasant and grouse legs through the year and make a big batch of confit over the winter holidays. It is one of my favorite game preparations. More or less any traditional/classic french recipe works, mine is mostly based on Thomas Keller's recipe from Bouchon, but Google will turn up a bunch. I prefer the simple old-school French treatments which all go pretty much like:

- Cure/Dry Brine for ~24h (salt, herbs, I also use a little bit of curing salt for color and texture)
- Rinse the cure off, dry, and place in a ceramic casserole, cover with melted rendered duck fat (you can make your own, but it's much easier and not very expensive to find in specialty grocery stores and can usually be reused at least once) with a couple of cloves of garlic and a few sprigs of thyme, cook in the oven at ~190 for ~8 hours
- Allow to cool (the fat will become solid again) andthen rest in the refrigerator for a day or two
- Before serving, pull out the whole dish, allow it to warm to room temp, pluck out the legs, crisp up in a cast iron pan (this step isn't absolutely necessary)

We use it for a bunch of different things - cassoulet, tacos, or just on a board with some cheese and crackers.
 

OntarioHunter

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 11, 2020
Messages
4,980
Drumsticks I cook up with the rest of cut up meat in shake & bake. Then cut the drumstick meat off bone in the morning and feed it to the dogs. Too many tendons. Goose drumsticks I freeze till winter. Then thaw, bone, and can up for dogfood.
 

Hunting Wife

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
3,823
Location
Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
So my husband just found a bag of legs we missed from last year, so I threw them in the pressure cooker, picked the meat and made this “Crack Chicken Casserole”. I don’t know, found it on Google 🤷🏻‍♀️ Just came out of the oven…once it cools it will be vacuum sealed for elk camp next weekend. Haven’t tasted it yet, but it smells fantastic!

C28BC54E-E75C-4A1E-B993-53A4BCB13B2B.jpeg
 

BrentD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
5,146
Location
In the middle
Best of luck in elk camp, but if you eat to well, does the hunting suffer?

Perhaps you should ship that to me overnight and fast yourselves before elk camp so you are hungrier and therefore more focused on killing dinner instead of rewarming it... :)
 

Hunting Wife

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 18, 2014
Messages
3,823
Location
Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
Best of luck in elk camp, but if you eat to well, does the hunting suffer?

Perhaps you should ship that to me overnight and fast yourselves before elk camp so you are hungrier and therefore more focused on killing dinner instead of rewarming it... :)
That’s elk packing fuel 🤣

We’ll eat one real meal a day. The hunting suffers more without it, cuz I get hangry.
 

huntin24/7

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 25, 2010
Messages
1,220
Location
Eastern Montana
That Buffalo pheasant dip is a great idea. I actually just cooked some legs yesterday. I made a combination of flour and seasonings until I liked the taste. Then I dipped the legs in an egg wash and then rolled them in the flower mixture. I fried them in oil at med heat flipping over a few times til done. Then I put a little BWW Asian zing glaze on them. Pretty tasty.
 

perma

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2022
Messages
366
Location
The wild west
Not to hijack the thread but does anyone know the proper internal cooked temperature for pheasant legs? Infamous Google told me 145 and another site said 165. I tried both tonight and found some pink from the 145 and the meat was super tough at 165.

Thinking next time I will try and slow cook the legs and make tacos from it.
 

cedahm

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2015
Messages
1,180
Location
Colorado
Not to hijack the thread but does anyone know the proper internal cooked temperature for pheasant legs? Infamous Google told me 145 and another site said 165. I tried both tonight and found some pink from the 145 and the meat was super tough at 165.

Thinking next time I will try and slow cook the legs and make tacos from it.
Are they wild birds? If so - 145 is fine (salmonella, et al are generally not prevalent in wild birds). If they're farm-raised, 165. Either way - low and slow is the ticket with legs to moderate dryness.

I can tell you I'll be making that 'Crack Chicken' above from HW. That looks fantastic and it's been a banner year so I have 2-3X the amount of grouse and pheasant legs for my normal confit.
 

seeth07

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
2,615
Location
Markesan, WI
Break the legs into drummy and thigh. Thighs are fantastic on the grill and any other way you would could chicken thighs. Just keep in mind they don't have the same fat content so they may become dryer than if you used chicken.

For the dummies, we turn them into blonde stock. We usually do stripe some of the meat to make a dip or soup from the stock but it's a lot of work to do so. Lots of strands to peel out
 

perma

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2022
Messages
366
Location
The wild west
Are they wild birds? If so - 145 is fine (salmonella, et al are generally not prevalent in wild birds). If they're farm-raised, 165. Either way - low and slow is the ticket with legs to moderate dryness.

I can tell you I'll be making that 'Crack Chicken' above from HW. That looks fantastic and it's been a banner year so I have 2-3X the amount of grouse and pheasant legs for my normal confit.
I want to believe they’re “wild” but they were planted there before the season started. Didn’t know about that until I talked with a different hunter.

I also bribed them for about an hour. I did that with the breasts too and the breasts turned out well. Legs were just a tough meat.
 

perma

Well-known member
Joined
May 31, 2022
Messages
366
Location
The wild west
Break the legs into drummy and thigh. Thighs are fantastic on the grill and any other way you would could chicken thighs. Just keep in mind they don't have the same fat content so they may become dryer than if you used chicken.

For the dummies, we turn them into blonde stock. We usually do stripe some of the meat to make a dip or soup from the stock but it's a lot of work to do so. Lots of strands to peel out
So I actually did that and the thighs I had were chewy. I’m pretty sure that was my fault because I’m certain I forgot to take off the silver skin. It didn’t dawn on me until I read this.
 

nastynate

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2021
Messages
192
So I actually did that and the thighs I had were chewy. I’m pretty sure that was my fault because I’m certain I forgot to take off the silver skin. It didn’t dawn on me until I read this.
Yeah... or didn't cook long enough. Low and slow... it can take a few hours. They are oustanding once theyre falling off the bone.

I also often separate thighs and drumsticks. The thighs are easy to eat, the drumsticks full of tendons. They are fine but a bit of work, but I do @seeth07 does- I make a huge batch of broth with a lot of the drumsticks and other parts of the carcass.

Hank Shaw's books all around gave my game cooking a big boost.

This is by far the best way I found to cook up pheasant legs... especially if you plucked them. https://honest-food.net/pheasant-confit-recipe/

Also has a super easy and outstanding carnitas recipe that's great with bird legs or squirrels, etc. Make some tacos: https://honest-food.net/turkey-carnitas/
 
Leupold Banner

Forum statistics

Threads
104,745
Messages
1,733,366
Members
32,751
Latest member
wct12
Top