View Full Version : Help with dressing pheasant
I was out walking today and came across a freshly shot pheasant that had been missed by the retrievers. I waited untill the shooters had gone home - thought it was only fair - stuck it in me coat and headed on home. :o):
Iv managed to pluck it and iv hung it at the top of my cellar. However, iv no idea how to go about removing its guts.
Iv checked the net but couldn't find anything particularly useful, so im hoping you guys will be able to advise.
Also, in my inexperienced attempt at plucking i tore some skin, will it still be ok to hang?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, recipes too as iv never struck lucky like this before. Anyway, thanks in advance!
you can leave the plucking untill after the hanging (but that is too late now). Let it hang in a cold place for up to a week, less if it is warm. Don't worry on the torn skin. Then treat it just like a chicken. There is a hole at one end and a head at the other. Cut off the neck and remove the guts by opening the other end. There will often be food in the base of the neck which is eaisly removed in it's kind of sac. Wash it well and either cook it or freeze it.
have a look at Gary's 'your goose is cooked' thread for a picture explanation of dealing with birds.
forgot the recipies bit sorry
shameless promotion of our site but hey! Have a look for pheasant in the list.
Dont know if i can wait a week to try pheasant in bacon, Mmmmmmmmm. :biggthump
I try very hard not to dress birds myself, but if I do...
TB10 is correct in saying normally the birds are hung before plucking, not sure it makes a huge amount of difference though. Probably just protects the meat a little. :?:
The food sack that is referred to is the crop. On a pheasant that's been reared for shooting it's normally full of wheat. Try and keep some of the skin around the neck but chop the neck off as close as you can to the body. The skin can then be wrapped under the bird to stop the top of the breast meat drying out too much.
The other end is pretty much as you see on a chicken, again as TB10 says. Cut all around the vent, making the hole just large enough to work with. Pull everything out, the gizzard is a large muscular ball that seems as if it shouldn't be there, it's the thing that grinds the wheat before digestion (if you cut it open you should find grit in there that the birds pick up to help grind the food).
Rinse out the cavity and have a good look inside, Where the ribs meet the back bone there are deep hollows in between. Part of the lungs sit there and are quite difficult to remove. I think the proper name for them is the Plural cavity but I normally know them as 'the lites'. Make sure you get them all out, it can taint the meat if you don't.
Rinse and check again to make sure all is well.
Cook and enjoy :biggthump
This is if you want to roast the bird, if you're going to joint it you don't need to faff around with all this because as you open the birds ribcage you can pull all the bits out of the way. It's alot easier and less fidley.
Hope that helps
TB10 - cool site. Going to add it to my favourites.
I hate plucking pheasants or any birds for that matter. I tend to skin them and remove the meat.
i normaly start of plucking make a hash of it and resort to skining! :roll:
I gutted and ate the beast today. Followed a recipe from TB10's site and it was delicious. In the end i skinned it aswell, some of the areas where i ripped the skin during plucking had gone a bit yellow and crispy during hanging and didnt look like they'd make good eating. I guess its all good practice anyway, and i agree that skinning is a whole lot easier than plucking. Thanks guys! :biggthump