Monday, April 11, 2011

Mesquite and Chipotle Seasoned Pheasant
Wyoming is a culinary hub for American game meat in my opinion. I have never before sat down to a meal to be presented with, buffalo, Caribou, Pheasant, Pike, Elk, and Antelope all at the same time. Maybe in an Exotic restaurant you might have those selections on a menu, but never set before you as a plate full of meats. Well, last night that happened. And of course I tried them all.

This all started a few months ago, when a friend of mine called me asking if I would cook for a “Fathers in the Field” dinner for about 20 to 40 people. He explained to me that this was a dinner were people brought game meats from there freezers to be grilled and that meat would be of questionable age. I was asked if I would be willing to grilling a few of those game meat choices. Of course I saw it as a challenge and I agreed to step into the kitchen and do the deed.

I will be honest with you, I was a little apprehensive, because I didn’t know for sure what I would be presented with to cook. I know that my Friend Dan travels the world and does big game hunting and fishing trips in places that I only dream about. So, God only knows what he has in his freezers awaiting culinary assault.

Friday evening after work, I headed to the kitchen I would be cooking in to see what poor delicious animals waited to be my victims. I have to admit, it was a little like Christmas for me, because I thought about it all day Friday at work, trying to think of the various animals I would need to be creative with.

I walked into the Kitchen with my general hello too people of “Yo!” I think I played it cool but really inside, I was like my 7 year old son wanting to see what he got for his birthday. My friend Dan presented me with Pheasant, Caribou, and a Northern Canadian Pike filet as his selection of meat that would contribute to this dinner for “Fathers in the Field”. Dan gave me general directions as to what he would like for the guests and I set off prepping.

I started out with my selection of spices, dry Rubs, and marinades I brought from my pantry at home. The menu I decided on was this, Fish cakes using the Northern Canadian Pike filet, Dry Rub for the Pheasant, and a wet marinade for the caribou that Dan said might be a tad randy. But for time sake, I will do the recipe for the Pheasant today since it was the simplest and in the opinion of the guests, was the tastiest.

The Fish cakes were a hit, and the Caribou was, well, ok. I will make no apologies for the caribou but I made it to salty. I was unfamiliar with the meat and it soaked up more of the brine marinade than I had anticipated, so I offset the saltiness with a Caribbean chutney of Papaya, pineapple, lemon, lime, Onion, and Ginger. End result was, like I said, ok.

Mesquite and Chipotle Seasoned Pheasant
1 Pheasant, portioned. (You can use any Foul of choice)
1 Jar Cabalas Open Season Mesquite and chipotle dry rub
1 Roll of Plastic wrap (make sure to use one that really sticks to itself)

The How too:
Rinse and pat dry each section of Pheasant.

Get you plastic wrap ready because your hands will be covered in goo from this point on.

In a bowl add one section of pheasant at a time and generously coat the meat with the Dry rub, massaging it into the flesh as you apply it.

Making sure to have plastic wrap at the ready, place each portion of Pheasant on a section of plastic wrap rolling it closed and making sure to have no air caught inside and that the plastic is sealed air tight. Repeat this with each portion.

Simply place all the wrapped pheasant on a plate and refrigerate for 24 hours.

When ready to grill it is just a simple matter of taking your plate out to the grill and un-wrapping each portion and setting on a med/high grill. Make sure not to leave it on the grill very long, since Pheasant cooks fast. I would say a bit faster than chicken.

Serve as you feel is appropriate with your favorite sides.

At the end of the night when all of the guest had there bellies full and smiles on there faces, I sat down to a plate of Fish cakes, Caribou, Pheasant, Buffalo, Elk, and Antelope all the while listening to the presentation of “Fathers in the Field

It sure is great to live in Wyoming. Best Place on Earth.


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