Author Topic: pheasant - what to use?  (Read 225 times)

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Online stuckinthemud

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pheasant - what to use?
« on: January 13, 2020, 07:32:37 am »
OK, butchery is not in my skill-set but I have been offered a brace of pheasant; what do I do with them?  Do I need to let them hang? Are the tail feathers/wing feathers OK for fletching, I know I can use the breast-meat but advice on how to skin them would be good, is there anything else useful on the bird I should be looking for? Any/all advice gratefully received,

Thanks,
Andrew

Offline Deerhunter21

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Re: pheasant - what to use?
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2020, 08:25:08 am »
Ahh! My specialty! so theres a couple things you can do. One is you step on the wings as close to the body as you can and grab the feet. snuggle your feet as close to the shoulder joint as you can and then pull on the legs untill the wings pop off taking off the back and all the guts out. this only works if your birds wings have not been blown apart and it takes 5 seconds to gut them. you can grab the heart if you want as i find this really tasty. now you want open up the breast so grab the breast feathers and pull them apart and pull them away untill the breast is fully exposed. now take a knife that is longer than the breast and not flimsy. make sure its sharp and then find the breast bone that is right in between the two. now your really going to just fillet the breast off. follow the breast bone till the breast is off it should be clean with very little meat on the breastbone. repeat this on the other side. untill you have two breasts. then go down to the legs and just tear the skin off untill its just a leg of meat. pull the leg away from the body and cut the thigh away from the body and then break the joint off. do this on the other side too. now for the feathers. lift the tail feathers up and find the piece of meat/bone their connected to. just cut that piece of meat off and salt the meat so it dries and you can keep the feathers for further use or just as decoration as their very colorful.
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money." Cree Native-American Proverb

A amature practices untill he gets it right. A master practices untill he never gets it wrong.

Russell - 15 years

Offline Deerhunter21

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Re: pheasant - what to use?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2020, 08:25:49 am »
id give you more advise but my class is starting!  >:D
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money." Cree Native-American Proverb

A amature practices untill he gets it right. A master practices untill he never gets it wrong.

Russell - 15 years

Offline Pat B

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Re: pheasant - what to use?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2020, 08:27:03 am »
I can't help with the eating part. The only thing I know about that is hanging by their necks until the necks rot and the pheasant falls. Just not too appetizing to me.  You can use the tail and wing feathers for fletching. I believe the Chinese used the tail feathers for fletching. Any feathers over 4" can be used as fletching for tangential 3 and 4 feather fletching. Smaller colorful feathers can be used for decorations.
Make the most of all that comes and the least of all that goes!    Pat Brennan  Brevard, NC

Offline Deerhunter21

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"Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money." Cree Native-American Proverb

A amature practices untill he gets it right. A master practices untill he never gets it wrong.

Russell - 15 years

Offline JW_Halverson

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Re: pheasant - what to use?
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2020, 12:05:31 pm »
I can't help with the eating part. The only thing I know about that is hanging by their necks until the necks rot and the pheasant falls. Just not too appetizing to me.  You can use the tail and wing feathers for fletching. I believe the Chinese used the tail feathers for fletching. Any feathers over 4" can be used as fletching for tangential 3 and 4 feather fletching. Smaller colorful feathers can be used for decorations.

No need to hang it quite that long. But I prefer to leave them whole and in the back of the fridge for at least three days before plucking and roasting with the skin on. Pheasant dries out FAST when it cooks and roasting in the skin really helps it stay more moist.

Aging in the fridge a few days allows the meat to relax from rigor mortis, as well as age slightly to become more tender. It also doesn't hurt to brine the bird in a gallon zip lock with a quart of water and two tablespoons of salt for 4-6 hours. The salt works some voodoo magic on the proteins that cause them to retain moisture.
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Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: pheasant - what to use?
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2020, 12:15:43 pm »
Gut them first, I usually do that in the field, haven't had one for a while but they do need to age a bit in the fridge.  All sorts of uses for the feathers.  Pheasant under glass is very good, several good ways to cook the birds out there.
Hawkdancer
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Online stuckinthemud

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Re: pheasant - what to use?
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2020, 01:12:32 pm »
Loved the link to the feather-backing how-to, thanks for that; if I were to go with skinning, how would I tan the skin?  Leaving the bird in the fridge is not an option, my other half is very squeamish - if it's not oven-ready, it doesn't go in the fridge.  I could hang them in the garage but suspect its not cold enough, current average day-time temp is 12C/53F, night time is about 8C/46F.

Offline Deerhunter21

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Re: pheasant - what to use?
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2020, 01:25:15 pm »
give me a little bit. then i think i can give you an answer. my class is starting again :'(
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money." Cree Native-American Proverb

A amature practices untill he gets it right. A master practices untill he never gets it wrong.

Russell - 15 years

Offline Deerhunter21

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Re: pheasant - what to use?
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2020, 04:44:19 pm »
I dont know if you would want to tan the skin. It would just be hard too since the way i get to the breasts is to literally pull the skin apart and that takes almost no physical exertion. I dont know if it could stand up to being tanned. at least i wouldn't be able to do it.

as for hanging it, well I dont do it and it turns out fine! if your gonna take the meat off the carcass then brine it in the fridge for a couple hours to tenderize it and then just leave it in the fridge for a couple of days. it will look just like chicken breasts and legs, so no squemish there!

 I was always told that a wild pheasant cooked like a chicken or turkey isnt a good idea because it doesn't have a lot of meat on them. but they also told me that the legs arnt worth getting and i feel like the legs have a lot of meat. but from looking at your situation its probably best if you just take the breasts and legs out and cook those.
"Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realise we cannot eat money." Cree Native-American Proverb

A amature practices untill he gets it right. A master practices untill he never gets it wrong.

Russell - 15 years

Online stuckinthemud

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Re: pheasant - what to use?
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2020, 08:11:23 am »
Thanks everyone for your replies, so, the leg tendons - too short for my tendon collection?  I guess the main uses for the feathers would be primary, secondary and tail for fletchings and using smaller feathers for decoration/backing.  Are there any other uses for the feathers?

Offline Hawkdancer

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Re: pheasant - what to use?
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2020, 11:02:11 am »
You will have to check various game laws, but they make nice earrings and hat pins, etc.  pheasants aren't migratory, so I don't think the fed laws apply, but double check first.
Hawkdancer
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Online stuckinthemud

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Re: pheasant - what to use?
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2020, 11:59:05 am »
Pheasant doesn't have protected species status here so using and trading feathers is not a problem

Offline chamookman

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Re: pheasant - what to use?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2020, 02:45:25 am »
Fly tyiers love Pheasant skins ! Bob
"May the Gods give Us the strength to draw the string to the cheek, the arrow to the barb and loose the flying shaft, so long as life may last." Saxon Pope - 1923.