A Pheasants Forever chapter volunteer from Minnesota recently flattered me complimenting this blog, and in particular, my writing focused on wild game cooking. This gentleman even suggested I consider giving a few presentations on the Cooking Stage at National Pheasant Fest.
Shortly after that compliment, I dug out a plucked pheasant from the basement chest freezer and was inspired to create Grapefruit Honey Pheasant. To my thinking, honey, with its sweetness and caramelizing nature, was a safe bet to start the recipe. And without the natural complimentary ingredient of oranges in our fridge, I grabbed for its citrus cousin, a grapefruit. That’s where I made a “bitter” mistake. While the photos may mislead you to believe I’ve accomplished a new pheasant dining masterpiece, I’ll warn you not to try this recipe at home. The bitter citrus of the grapefruit simply did not marry well with the honey’s sweetness. While Meredith and I were able to finish the meal without a pizza delivery necessary, I wouldn’t recommend replicating this experiment in your own roaster.
In the end, my Grapefruit Honey Pheasant proved to me, my wife and my bird dogs that my cooking skills are still elementary at best and certainly not ready for stage time exposure. That’s okay. Wild game cooking, er . . . experimenting, is one of my favorite aspects of the hunting cycle. Conservation leads to wildlife habitat, wildlife habitat leads to better hunting, good bird dogs and straight shooting put more meat in the freezer, and a little experimenting in the kitchen leads to good wild game eating . . . most of the time.
So, I know I’m not the only amateur chef to bomb in the kitchen. What’s your own “best” wild game recipe flop?