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Old 12-25-2015, 11:32 AM   #1
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Help! Is this pheasant ok to eat?

Merry Christmas!

I'm about to start preparing a pheasant for Christmas dinner and discovered that it is discoloured in a few places. Quite black around on of the legs. I'm thinking it's fine but my wife thinks it's sketchy. Any pheasant experts have advice to share?



Thanks and merry Christmas!

Umo

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Old 12-25-2015, 12:09 PM   #2
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Was the bird fresh or previously frozen? Smell the bird. If it smells bad it's not edible.
Peasants can have what looks like bruises. The method of processing these birds can cause bruising very easily. They must be put into a machine that basically rubs off their feathers at high speed.
Where did you get the bird from?
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Old 12-25-2015, 12:10 PM   #3
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In case that link isn't working - here's a picture.

https://goo.gl/photos/XRpQBv3SGrp1u1g26

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Old 12-25-2015, 12:13 PM   #4
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Thanks a lot for your reply, that's helpful information. It's never been frozen as far as I'm aware. It smells funky, but I think that's just a normal gamey smell (I'm new to cooking game). I bought it from my local butcher yesterday, but didn't inspect it until today.
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Old 12-25-2015, 12:33 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Umo2000 View Post
Thanks a lot for your reply, that's helpful information. It's never been frozen as far as I'm aware. It smells funky, but I think that's just a normal gamey smell (I'm new to cooking game). I bought it from my local butcher yesterday, but didn't inspect it until today.
If you bought it from a butcher the chances are 100% the bird is fresh.
Give the bird a good wash under cold water and dry it well.
Here's how I cook peasant........of which I've roasted hundreds. They have all been wild birds but whether farm raised or wild the bird is essentially the same.
I do not put anything like butter of olive oil on the skin. Just a good rub of Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. I put a couple of lemon wedges in the cavity.
You may be surprised by how I roast the bird, any bird.
I am a 'low and slow' convert from many years ago when I owned a restaurant.
I preheat the oven temp at 200 degrees F. Yes 200 degrees. The bird goes in a roasting pan. A peasant is especially prone to being overdone and turn out dry.
I check the internal temp after 30 minutes. When the internal temp. is 150 F I remove the bird and tent it for 30 minutes lightly.
The bird at this point will look horrible. The skin is not crispy. Now crank up the oven temp to it's highest setting. Then turn the oven light on and put the bird back in the oven. Watch very carefully as the skin turns quickly into golden crispy.
Remove the bird and carve just before serving.
You'll need a gravy of sauce of some sort. I make a classic roux and use any pan drippings....if any and boiling water to make a gravy.
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Old 12-25-2015, 04:54 PM   #6
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It turned out really well, much more moist than I would have expected. That bruised meat had a different taste, but still edible. The roux was a nice idea, good use of the drippings. Thanks again.
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:32 PM   #7
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Glad to hear it turned out well Umo, and it's terrific you ran into our Puffin, who sure seems to know what he's talking about. I really hope you stick around DC to share your cooking adventures.
We roasted domestic ducks for the Christmas feast, does pheasant taste a lot different?
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Old 12-26-2015, 02:00 PM   #8
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Help! Is this pheasant ok to eat?

So pleased it worked for you, Umo! I've done pheasant breasts in the crockpot a few eons ago with nice mushroom gravy. They turned out quite good.

Thinking you can't go wrong with Puffin's instructions.
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Old 12-26-2015, 04:26 PM   #9
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It turned out really well, much more moist than I would have expected. That bruised meat had a different taste, but still edible. The roux was a nice idea, good use of the drippings. Thanks again.
Another story of success. The members of this forum love to give advice of cooking problems that they too have faced and found a solution that worked. So glad you came here to ask. Welcome to DC. And please, do come back often. Even just to chat.
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:23 AM   #10
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I'm pleased the bird turned out well for you.
Welcome to the forum. There's lots of really good 'foodies' here with lots of expertise.
My daily routine always means visiting this forum every morning.
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Old 12-27-2015, 11:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by puffin3 View Post
If you bought it from a butcher the chances are 100% the bird is fresh.
Give the bird a good wash under cold water and dry it well.
Here's how I cook peasant........of which I've roasted hundreds. They have all been wild birds but whether farm raised or wild the bird is essentially the same.
I do not put anything like butter of olive oil on the skin. Just a good rub of Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. I put a couple of lemon wedges in the cavity.
You may be surprised by how I roast the bird, any bird.
I am a 'low and slow' convert from many years ago when I owned a restaurant.
I preheat the oven temp at 200 degrees F. Yes 200 degrees. The bird goes in a roasting pan. A peasant is especially prone to being overdone and turn out dry.
I check the internal temp after 30 minutes. When the internal temp. is 150 F I remove the bird and tent it for 30 minutes lightly.
The bird at this point will look horrible. The skin is not crispy. Now crank up the oven temp to it's highest setting. Then turn the oven light on and put the bird back in the oven. Watch very carefully as the skin turns quickly into golden crispy.
Remove the bird and carve just before serving.
You'll need a gravy of sauce of some sort. I make a classic roux and use any pan drippings....if any and boiling water to make a gravy.
You've got my curiosity aroused as to how this applies to roast chicken. The generally accepted safe temperature for poultry is 165 F, but you are calling for an internal temperature of 150 F. How long does it take to roast a pheasant at 200 F? I'm assuming you are roasting it uncovered. I've seen instructions for rotisserie style chicken that call for 3 hours at 300 F. My understanding is that wild pheasants are on the small side, so the time to roast a chicken will probably be significantly longer. The low and slow cooking and then turning up the temperature to brown the skin sounds interesting, and I think I'd like to give it a try. Might try a Cornish hen this way.
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Old 12-27-2015, 12:47 PM   #12
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I'm pleased the bird turned out well for you.
Welcome to the forum. There's lots of really good 'foodies' here with lots of expertise.
My daily routine always means visiting this forum every morning.
This forum is very addictive.
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Old 12-27-2015, 04:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenspeed View Post
You've got my curiosity aroused as to how this applies to roast chicken. The generally accepted safe temperature for poultry is 165 F, but you are calling for an internal temperature of 150 F. How long does it take to roast a pheasant at 200 F? I'm assuming you are roasting it uncovered. I've seen instructions for rotisserie style chicken that call for 3 hours at 300 F. My understanding is that wild pheasants are on the small side, so the time to roast a chicken will probably be significantly longer. The low and slow cooking and then turning up the temperature to brown the skin sounds interesting, and I think I'd like to give it a try. Might try a Cornish hen this way.
The smaller the bird the trickier it is to not overcook it. The bigger the bird the longer the carry-over temp will happen.
I roasted a twenty pound turkey at 200 F until the internal temp. was about 150 F. After an hour resting on the counter the internal temp. was 160 F.
Take any bird out at 'about' 150 F and tent it and the internal temp is going to go up about 5 degrees. Then blast it for a couple of minutes to crisp up the skin and the internal temp will go up another degree or so. It's important not to truss the bird so the heat can cook the bird in the cavity.
There is no definitive answer about how long to leave the bird in the oven. You MUST use a meat thermometer.
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