Talk about fresh food!

Yesterday afternoon we had to run to town for Ryan’s dentist appointment and when I say “run to town”, I mean a 40 minute drive one way to get to the small town of 7500 people. On the way home while heading down the driveway we happened to go by several pheasants. When Ryan found out that I didn’t have any dinner plans yet, he decided to grab his gun and go see if he could find a couple for dinner. Needless to say he was successful(otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this post) and returned home with two.

I have cooked pheasant before, however I was out of bacon which I usually use when cooking the birds whole(you drape bacon over the whole bird & it keeps the moisture in…plus the bacon is amazing!). I decided that hot pheasant & gravy sandwiches with homemade fries sounded good even though I had never made them before nor did I have a recipe.

After cleaning the birds, I started by removing the breasts & meat from the legs. This meat was then cut up into small bite sized cubes. I had intended to shred it, but I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it so we cooked in cubes instead. Pheasant tends to be a little tougher than domestic birds(chicken, turkey) so I was pretty sure that shredding after it was cooked wouldn’t be an option. While cutting up the pheasant, I had a large skillet heating with vegetable oil heating up.

Pheasant Cubes

Once the oil was good & hot, the pheasant cubes were dredged in white flour & dropped into the skillet. I was able to fit all the meat from the two birds in one skillet. I dredged pretty heavy due to the fact that the gravy I was using tends to be thin & I wanted my gravy thick enough that it wasn’t going to run off of my sandwich all over the plate.

Dredging...and yes I made a huge mess!

While the pheasant was cooking I added salt, pepper, garlic powder & onion powder. I also added about 2 cups of water to make the flour & pheasant into more of a sticky mixture. Next time I make it I will definitely be a little more heavy handed in the pepper, it could have used a little more kick. At this point the mixture was pretty thick and both Ryan & my mother came in at different times asking if I needed help. They were more than a little skeptical, even more so when I told them I was just making it up as I went along!

Ready for the gravy

While all this was going on the gravy was simmering away. I used a simple generic brown gravy mix, which isn’t BAD in and of itself however it can certainly use some tweaking(hence the extra flour on the pheasant). I made 3 cups of gravy which turned out to be the perfect amount for two birds. Once it reached boiling, it was added in with the pheasant. A few quick stirs and it was set aside to simmer for a little bit.

Gravy & Pheasant

I really wasn’t in the mood for mash potatoes, which would have been the logical choice for this meal…so we made french fries instead. Having several bags of homemade fries ready to go in the freezer is one of the most wonderful things in the world. So easy to make and SOOOO much cheaper than buying the commercial version!

Perfect Homemade Fries - Yum!

The final product may not look very appetizing but it sure tasted good. I know they say “appearance is everything”, well that’s not the case down here on the farm. If you come to my table, you better not expect any garnishes or fancy smancy plates but you can rest assured you’ll sure eat well!

From field to plate - 2 hours

Pheasant & Gravy

  • 2 Pheasants, cleaned & cubed
  • Flour for dredging
  • Water
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 3 cups Gravy

Heat a skillet with a small amount of oil. Dredge the pheasant in the flour and drop into the skillet. Cook until meat is white all the way through. Add water to the mixture until it is almost gluey in texture, although it shouldn’t be runny. The flour will probably make this quite thick at this point. Add 3 cups of hot brown gravy to the pheasant. Allow to simmer a few minutes. Serve hot on rolls, bread or over mashed potatoes.


Homemade French Fries

NOTE: These fries need to be made ahead of time because they require pre-frying & a freeze before being able to be fried for a meal!

  • Potatoes(as many as you feel like making, I usually cut up & pre-cook up 10lbs of fries at once)
  • Deep Frier

Wash potatoes & peel potatoes. Cut potatoes into fries of desired thickness. I’ve found that 1/4″-1/2″ thick is just about the perfect size for these fries(picture the size of McDonald’s fries). Heat your deep fryer to 400* which is usually as high as most home deep fryers will go. Fry your french fries just until they change from that translucent white of the raw potatoes to a cooked white. You do NOT want to over fry them at this point. Remove the fries from the oil & allow to drain. Place the fries into ziplock baggies in single serving sizes. Place the fries in the freezer and allow to freeze completely before cooking the second time. When you are in the mood for fries with your meal, heat your oil to 400* again and drop in the FROZEN(do not thaw!) fries. Cook until  the fries are a golden brown. Drain on brown paper to maintain the best crispness.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. G Whittaker
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 09:16:25

    Congratulations on making it up as you went along! I actually do a lot of cooking this way because it’s how I grew up. You use what you have, and can;t always use a recipe for that. There will be some failures along the way of course, but coming up with new family favorites that you created yourself is such an awesome feeling. It’s also very daunting to most people. The idea of going recipeless is scary! Loving your blog so far.. hoping you keep up with it for a long time!


    • Nicole
      Jan 12, 2012 @ 17:27:52

      Thank you! It took me a long time to become confident enough to try recipes on my own. It’s been a fairly long road trying to learn each thing can be cooked and what goes well with what.


  2. Dad
    Jan 12, 2012 @ 09:24:45

    As I was reading, I was wondering what the final outcome woudl be. I suspected it would be perfect knowing you. Dive in and try it.. Never done it.. No problem. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Glad to hear that you are doing the French Fry’s that way. It is the best way to give extra flavor and certianly adds a nice texture when serving. Happy Cooking!!!!


    • Nicole
      Jan 12, 2012 @ 17:29:43

      Aww thanks Dad! I am so glad you taught me the right way to make fries! I love them & Ryan thinks they are better than any restaurant fries :-)


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