Chili con faisan (pheasant)

May 6th, 2015 by | 2

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Your correspondent often hears conversations about how to prepare the chukars and the pheasants our dogs produce. Try this red chili; start at least 2 hours before you intend to serve. The longer it simmers, the more the flavors will develop.

  • 2 whole pheasants or equivalent chukar and pheasant breasts (about 3 pounds bone-in)
  • 2 cups dried kidney beans (about 1 pound)
  • 3 16 oz jars of your favorite red salsa
  • 1 diced adobo pepper
  • 1 T adobo pepper sauce
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 2 C chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 bottle lager beer
  • strained yogurt
  • diced scallions
  • chopped jalapeno peppers

The pheasant takes the longest to cook, so start there. Preheat your oven to 275 degrees. If the pheasants are not skinned, skin them first. Split each pheasant along the backbone. I use poultry shears. Cut the wishbone at the top of the breast so the pheasant will open like a butterfly. Arrange the pheasants in a single layer in a 13×9 sheet cake pan; add the salsa, diced adobo pepper and adobo sauce. The pheasants should be covered by the salsa. Put the cake pan in the hot oven and braise until the pheasant reaches 165 degrees in the breasts; about 90 minutes.

While the pheasant is braising, bring 5 quarts of water to a roiling boil. Clean the dried beans; remove the ugly beans and the gravel that made it through the separator when the beans were sized. Wash the beans in cold water. Add the beans to the boiling water and cook until all of the beans have sunk; about 60 minutes. Throw away the cook water, rinse the beans and bean pot to reduce flatulence.

When the pheasant reaches 165 degrees, remove it from the salsa and let it cool enough to debone.

Combine beans, salsa, broth, beer, chili powder and cumin in the bean pot. Set over low heat. The adobo pepper and sauce provide the heat in this dish. One, 2-inch adobo pepper and 1 T adobo sauce is how Kate and I like because this chili has some heat but is not only hot; the flavor comes from the combination of the ingredients.

When the pheasant is cool enough, pull it from the bones. Do not expect the pheasant to fall from the bone; it is not a chicken. Remove the sliver bones and tendons in the meat from the legs. After the meat is removed, chop it coarsely to approximately twice the size of a kidney bean.

Add the pheasant to the salsa in the bean pot. Gently cook over low heat to meld the flavors; be careful not to scorch.

Serve hot and topped with the strained yogurt, chopped scallions and diced jalapenos to taste.

I've been an investigative reporter for more than 40 years and taught journalism at the college level for another 10. I've owned and trained retrievers, pointers and spaniels for about the same amount of time. My love of the outdoors and interest in cooking, eating and libations has been life-long, starting on my family's farm in Indiana and the hearty home-cooked meals there.

2 responses to “Chili con faisan (pheasant)”

  1. Kate says:

    Delicious and and good for you, too! It’s about 6 Weight Watchers points per (1.5 C) serving.

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