Cook1 hr 30 mins
Brining really is the way to go with pheasant, to keep it moist and also to "cut" some of that rich gaminess. This brine recipe is from the television show "Outdoor Wisconsin"; I like to keep the bird in it overnight then roast with plenty of butter under the breast skin and plenty of basting. You can also arrange bacon slices over the breast to keep it moist. Prep time includes overnight brining.
- 8 cups water
- 1⁄2 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1⁄4 cup real maple syrup
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed (the recipe says "several" garlic cloves; I tend to use about 3)
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice of (I do use it) (optional)
- 1 dash cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 (2 lb) whole pheasants
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Heat together the water and salt until salt is dissolved, then allow to cool to room temperature for about a half hour.
- Add the sugar, syrup, onions, garlic, cloves, and lemon and cayenne pepper (if using).
- Add pheasant, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place brined pheasant in a roasting pan breast up and insert a tablespoon of the butter under the breast skin.
- Rub the rest of the butter all over the pheasant, then roast uncovered for about 1-1/2 hours; check after an hour, though.
- Baste frequently!
- And if you like, to keep the breast meat moist, you can cover it with bacon strips as well.
This was so SO SO SO Tasty! I was a little "chicken" about roasting pheasant for the first time, but it was oh-so-good. I added more garlic cloves to mine and placed my birds on a roasting rack then put chicken broth in the bottom of the pan. I tented the tin foil for the first hour and basted every 15 minutes. Just awesome. Absolutely no gamey taste whatsoever. Thank you so much for posting such a fabulous brine!!!!
We enjoyed this recipe very much and it is now our favorite way to prepare pheasant. I split the breast in half and spread bacon over it. It cut down on cooking time. I had no idea they were this tasty and moist.
WOW! This was wonderful!! We had a pheasant feast last night and this was a huge hit. We smoked it instead of roasting it in the oven and we think this is the BEST brine we've ever tried and we've tried a few on turkey's. Of course we'll be brining our turkey in this for Thanksgiving on Thursday! Thanks so much. UPDATE - We used this brine on our turkey for Thanksgiving and then smoked it...it was the best smoked turkey we ever made and the flavor was so wonderful...thanks again for this great recipe.