Pheasant Pot Pie Recipe Works Well with Most Game Birds, Plus Chicken or, Even, Rabbit
Suppose you just got back from South Dakota or another destination known for world-class upland bird hunting – or maybe you patronized your local shooting preserve, getting a little work in for your favorite retriever. Either way, you’ve got some flavorful meat for the pot. What better way to enjoy your birds than in a classic pot pie?
There are hundreds of pot pie recipes out there and as we typically do, we use them as guidelines, mixing and matching ingredients until we hit the one that tickles our taste buds. This recipe also works with wild turkey, chicken or any game birds. You can also use rabbit; heck, you could make a rabbit-pheasant combo pot pie and really impress the dinner guests. Leftover meat from roasted or grilled birds can also be used – just consider adding a little extra liquid to the final mix to ensure the meat stays moist.
8 sets of pheasant thigh/leg sections or 2 whole birds
½ onion, chopped into a few large pieces
2 whole garlic cloves
2 celery stalks, cut in half or thirds
Chicken broth to cover (about 4 or 5 cups)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 dash of turmeric
2/3 cup flour
1 can concentrate cream of chicken and/or mushroom soup
2 cups mixed vegetables for soup (any fresh, canned or frozen combination you prefer)
1 tablespoon Sherry (optional)
2 teaspoons poultry seasonings
Salt and pepper to taste
Frozen or homemade pie crust pastry
Note: If you want potatoes in your pie, boil a potato until cooked, but firm and then dice it to add to the mix. Or, as I prefer, cook potatoes separately, mash them and then serve the pot pie over the mashed potatoes.
Preparation & Cooking
Place the pheasant, onion, garlic, celery and broth in a large pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes or until the meat is tender. Strain the broth and simmer another 20 minutes to concentrate flavor and reduce. Meanwhile, pick the meat off the bones and discard the vegetables used in the cooking the meat. Be careful deboning the legs as there are numerous fine tendons running through the meat. You should have 2 ½ to 3 cups of meat.
Put 3 cups of the reduced stock (adding additional broth if necessary to have 3 cups) into a pot and add Worcestershire sauce, pepper and nutmeg. Add a little of the broth slowly to the flour to form a paste and then add it back to the broth, stirring to keep lumps from forming. Over low heat, mix in the soup, mixed vegetables and sherry.
Mix the poultry seasoning with the meat and add to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a little more broth if needed, especially if using leftover meat.
Place the mixture in a 2 or 3 quart greased baking dish and cover with pie pastry. Cut several slits to vent. If you prefer, make several smaller pies.
Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 5 or 10 minutes before serving. Serve over mashed potatoes (my favorite) or by itself with something like a tomato/basil bruschetta on the side. Serves 4.