After a recent posting on the wonderful “Cooking in Sens” blog http://cookinginsens.wordpress.com/2011/11/06/deep-fried-quail-with-hoisin-dipping-sauce/ deep frying game birds looks a good thing to try, and as it’s well and truly pheasant season here in Devon, there’s a plethora of birds around. I wanted to try something that was family friendly (my wife is not a massive game fan) I thought i’d try a southern fried style meal, I felt the pheasant would give a tasty meat for this, and the breast and thigh were delicious tasty and tender, though some of the leg meat had a few tough bits, but this is what you excpect from a wild bird
Devon Fried Pheasant
Aim for a whole pheasant per person, if it’s been plucked then keep the skin on, if not then it’s ok to use skinless birds, as mine were.
Joint out the pheasants as per my chicken jointing post http://countrywoodsmoke.wordpress.com/2011/10/14/the-chicken-challenge/ and divide each breast into goujons.
Cover with water with a bay leaf, a couple of juniper berries and a couple of whole black peppers, a stick of celery, an onion halved and a chopped carrot. Simmer this of a medium heat until the meat is cooked through, mine took 15 mins. Take out the pheasant meat and set aside to cool, the liquid can then be strained and used as a wonderful alternative to chicken stock.
Set some hot oil to 180 deg C in a deep pan or deep fat fryer.
Have 2 bowls set up with 200ml of milk in one, and 200g seasoned flour, (11 herbs and spices if you know the secret recipe) I used 2 teaspoons cajun seasoning “Slap Ya Mamma” to be precise, a tspn devonshire smoked sea salt http://www.devonshire-gourmetsalts.co.uk/view-our-salts.php a tspn of smoked paprika and a good grind of freshly ground black pepper.
You need to double dip the meat, firstly into the flour, then into the milk before back into the flour, this will give a nice thick crispy coating.
In batches pop the coated meat into the hot oil until the coating is brown and crunchy 8 minutes roughly for mine. Keep the cooked meat in a warm oven until all the meat is cooked.
The Devon Fried Pheasant was served with a home made red cabbage coleslaw and fluffy on the inside crispy on the outside twice cooked chips, and enjoyed with a cold cider.