A Bird's Eye View

January 30, 2018

The handsome handy hubby took our Princess Remington for her first bird hunt this weekend. While she was quite focused on playing with the other Pointer on this jaunt, she did a great job and they brought home a bird. A pheasant. What the heck do I do with a pheasant?! People, I’m an Orange County girl living in in the Mid-West world. I never ate game meat until than 1 bite of venison in 1991. This whole hunting thing is still a new adventure for me; however, it's one that I’m L-O-V-I-N-G!

The first time he brought me bison that had been given to him by a friend, I just looked at it on the counter. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t an entire bison, it was just a roast. One stinkin’ roast! But I was shocked, stymied, and honestly, scared. So I Google’d the crap out of it and came up with something that was apparently good enough that the boys decided they loved bison. Just remember….I didn’t tell them what it was until after they ate it – lol!

Next, he started hunting himself. I didn’t grow up around this stuff. I was clueless. And still scared. I told him when he came to me and asked what I thought about hunting that as long as it came home wrapped in plastic, like from the grocery store, we’d be fine. I’d figure out how to cook it. The first elk came home 2 years ago. The processor got most of it and, per my request, it came back to me looking like I’d picked it up at King Sooper’s. The rest, um, not so much! Her backstraps and tenderloins were in canvas bags chillin' in coolers on my kitchen floor. I thought to myself, “I’ve fabricated chickens in cooking school, how hard can this be?”. Can I just tell you - I wasn’t prepared!

She still had some hair on her, there was some blood on the bags, and there was dirt! Hair, and blood, and dirt?! What had I gotten myself into? I once again turned to my new BFF, Google, to figure out what to do next. It took the 2 of us about 4 hours in the kitchen to wash the meat, get rid of the silver skin, portion her out and vacuum-seal our bounty. Then things got FUN! We used the scraps to make Italian Sausage with the most delicious seasonings from Carmine Lonardo’s Meat Market in Lakewood, CO, I made a tenderloin stuffed with duxelle mushrooms and converted my non-mushroom-eating brother-in-law, and the fun has only continued with each elk he brings home.

Now he’s trying his hand with the birds. I’ve seen a pheasant - once. It was in my yard when I lived in Amherst, MA. I remember taking a picture of it and then calling my neighbor; I'm pretty sure I was screaming because I was SO excited about this darn bird. She replied, “you really aren’t from around here”. We still chuckle about it to this day. My chuckling stopped this morning when he brought this gorgeous, colorful pheasant into the house and proceeded to chop off it’s head and feet, pull out the organs and skin it – on my kitchen counter!

A couple of hours later, after I’d scoured the internet trying to figure out what to do with our new bird (I named him Roscoe), he'd vacuumed up the rogue feathers, and my handsome handy hubby and the kitchen were both scrubbed with bleach, I deconstructed the bird, and threw it into the pressure cooker to make stock which will turn into Pheasant and Wild Rice Soup. I’ll post the recipe and let you know how it turns out. So far, it smells amazing and I can’t wait to share how this story ends…

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