Pheasant fat?

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bobnewboy

Settler
Jul 2, 2014
880
290
North West Somerset
Hi All,

Not sure if this post should be here, or under Lovely Grub?...

As the season is coming to an end, and I've become comfortable with the basic ins and outs of Beating (certainly there's still plenty more to learn), I have access to some birds in feather. Yesterday I got given a brace, and have now prepared my first birds for cooking. The results look good, but I have a single question: should the traces of yellow fat be removed before cooking, or does it add a good flavour to the final cooked meat?

Cheers, Bob
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
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Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
Keep it. Pheasant has a lean meat ( unless overfed), plus fat keeps flavour from the meat and herbs/spices!

I like to put lardons of a quality bacon inside the breasts too.
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,200
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Mid Wales
I gave up plucking pheasant a long time ago and now just skin them. Any fat that is on there you should leave. If you do skin but still want to roast use something like thin bacon to cover it. However, I prefer mine slow casseroled - my favourite dish is pheasant curry (it is an Asian bird after all).
 
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Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,299
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McBride, BC
I can buy locally raised ducks. Very well plucked*.
I cook them in a dry rub, onions up their whazoo, on the cold side ot my smoker BBQ (NOT grilled) at 275F for 3 hours.
Apple wood over the hot side fire for smoke for the first hour.
A drip pan under the bird(s) catches the rendered fat. No, the bird does not dry out.
Chickens come out exactly the same. One process seems to suit all birds.

I would be really happy to do a couple of pheasants, I'd expect the very same result.

*there is a mobile business in a really big truck which is full of processing machinery.
You catch the flock of birds and finished, cleaned and plucked birds come out the other end.
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
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W.Sussex
I gave up plucking pheasant a long time ago and now just skin them. Any fat that is on there you should leave. If you do skin but still want to roast use something like thin bacon to cover it. However, I prefer mine slow casseroled - my favourite dish is pheasant curry (it is an Asian bird after all).
I have a friend who married a Burmese lady and she moved to England. For the first couple of years she tried to do her best with chicken, really our only available bird meat. And then another friend took her a couple of pheasants. They lived next door to us and feathers were blowing about in the wind from their balcony. A couple of hours later we were invited round for a proper Burmese curry. She was so pleased, “Yes, taste like bird, taste like bird”. It was very good.

Pheasant does tend to roast a bit dry, any fat to hold moisture has to be a good thing. To be honest, this time of year, the birds are better slow cooked, they can be tough.
 

bobnewboy

Settler
Jul 2, 2014
880
290
North West Somerset
Pheasant does tend to roast a bit dry, any fat to hold moisture has to be a good thing. To be honest, this time of year, the birds are better slow cooked, they can be tough.
Well, I left some fat on the breast which I flash fried in a little butter as a taste test. It was pretty good, but I may well follow a recipe I've found for a pheasant-based version of coq au vin. That should be good, with little or no chance of the meat drying out :)

The advice I've had so far from my fellow beaters is that partridge (which are also in season) are best eaten younger at the start of the season, and pheasant is better later in the season when they have developed somewhat. I'm perhaps a little late to the party, with only a bit over a week to go, but it's all good so far....

Thanks all!
 

Nice65

Full Member
Apr 16, 2009
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W.Sussex
Very good cooked in Normandy cider, shallots, mushrooms and cream. My mum would chuck a handful of fresh tarragon in at the end but it’s good whatever. It can be simmered in the cider for as long as you want and then the cream added. Tip over basmati and wild rice, or the nutty Camargue red rice. It’s yum.

I haven’t had partridge in ages, but I’d agree with your blokes. It’s nicer than pheasant.
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,299
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McBride, BC
Having plucked birds of any sort is a real advantage for smoker BBQ (3 hrs, 275F, apple wood smoke for first hour,drip pan under the birds.)
The pan will catch all the rendered fat, leaving the skin to crisp as a coating to prevent moisture loss. The bird's don't dry out.
You need good herb & spice mixes to rub all over the birds, inside and out. A fairt bit of that sweats off which is OK.
I'll bet pheasant (tough to me) would cook as tender as lamb shanks this way.
 
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