Jeremiah Doughty | From Field to Plate
I was helping out with a youth pheasant hunt this past season and was paired with a father and two sons. Both sons had just finished their hunter safety course, and this was their first hunt. As we hunted both boys filled their game bags and became excited to eat their pheasant. The dad stopped their excitement with this simple phrase, “we don’t eat pheasant, its gross.” Both boys hung their heads as we walked back to the car. Being a wild game chef, I asked the boys what their favorite chicken dish was, they both said orange chicken. I told the dad that I would create a simple orange chicken recipe that he could recreate with his pheasants. I went home and worked for three days till I came up with this dish, a dish that changed the dad’s mind.
- 2 pounds pheasant (can use turkey, chicken or chukar)
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 teaspoon cracked pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ cup cooking oil
(I love avocado oil; it has the highest flash point and doesn’t burn or smoke until 500 degrees.)
- Chop pheasant into 1-inch cubes, nice bite-size pieces.
- In a plastic bag, mix all dry ingredients, close bag and shake to mix.
- Add egg to medium bowl and beat until yolk is mixed with whites.
- Add pheasant and coat with egg wash.
- Add pheasant to bag in batches and shake to fully coat. Remove and set aside until all pheasant has been coated. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
- While pheasant is resting, add oil to wok or skillet and heat over medium.
- Once oil is hot add the pheasant in batches, cooking fully and crispy about 4-6 minutes per batch.
- Once all pheasant has cooked, set aside and start on your orange glaze.
Orange Glaze Recipe
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 2 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1⁄4 cup water
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 5 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons white vinegar
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- Mix together in small bowl orange juice, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, white vinegar and zest until sugar is dissolved. Add 1 tablespoon cornstarch and mix smooth. Set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok or skillet.
- Next add ginger and garlic. Sautee for 30 seconds.
- Stir in crushed red pepper and rice wine stir for 15 seconds to mix.
- Add orange juice mixture to wok or skillet and bring to a boil, stirring often so not to burn sauce.
- Once sauce comes to a boil, add cooked pheasant and stir until evenly coated.
- Remove from heat and place on a bed of brown rice then garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.