pheasantGamey and earthy, pheasant most definitely does not taste like chicken.

pheasanthensIt’s that time of year, fall is moving into winter and game hunting is in season. Taxonomy suggests that the pheasant is native to Asia, however, it has been widely cultivated as a game bird for the past few hundred years and wide varieties can now be found all around the world in various environments. Male pheasants tend to be quite ornate with very colorful plumage while females tend to be more easily camouflaged with browns and greys in their plumage.

From a culinary perspective, preparing pheasant can be a bit of a process. They must be hung for a few days before they are ready to cook. The length of time, whether or not the feathers are left on, and whether it is a cock or a hen, will all impact the flavor of the bird. Once it has hung the appropriate amount of time and been appropriately cleaned, it can then be prepared in any way that you might cook any other kind of bird. pheasant roastedPheasant have a lower fat content than chicken so whatever you end up doing with it, whether grilling, baking, roasting, frying, sauteeing, making into sausage, etc.. you will want to be sure to use other ingredients that compliment the gamey flavor and preserve the moisture content of the meat.

From a health perspective, as a game bird, pheasants provide nutrient density based on what they forage in the forest. They are often, as with most game, higher in nutrient content than commercially raised birds. They are leaner in fat, and a great source of iron, zinc, and B vitamins. They are also a great source of Selenium which helps balance metabolic function and boosts your immune system.