Baked Pheasant and Wild Rice

Prospects for pheasant hunting in North Dakota this fall aren’t as promising as they’ve been the past couple of years. But that’s not going to stop a lot of hunters from taking the field, including me.

That’s because in my opinion, there’s nothing that can compare with the baked pheasant and wild rice dish that my family has become accustomed to since I’ve been chasing the elusive game bird the past 20 years or so.

Just the other night, we hosted a small family gathering, and we had the dish that I’ve come to perfect over the years. Not to brag, but as usual, it drew raves from everyone. And as far as I’m concerned, the leftovers are just as good the next day.

So, in anticipation of a successful ringneck season (with a little hard work), I’m going to share the recipe, so other hunters can enjoy this meal as much as we do.

Baked Pheasant and Wild Rice
6 to 8 deboned pheasant breasts
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 to 1½ cups wild rice
1 10½-ounce can cream of mushroom with roasted garlic soup
½ to 1 cup red wine
½ cup cooking sherry
½ pint half and half
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon Louisiana Cajun seasoning
½ cup olive oil
1 cup water
Mix the flour, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper and Louisiana Cajun spice in a bowl. Roll pheasant breasts in flour mixture and brown in olive oil.
Mix the onions, garlic, celery, mushrooms and wild rice with red wine, soup and water in a large roasting pan.
When you are finished browning the breasts, place them atop the wild rice mixture. Deglaze the frying pan with the cooking sherry and pour over the pheasants. Top with the cream.
Bake in 350-degree oven for 2 to 3 hours or until done. You may have to add more water while it is cooking.

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