How to Clean a Pheasant
Is there anything wrong or shameful with just taking out the breast meat? After all, some might argue, if it will be discarded at the table, what does it matter? However, after a Kansas pheasant hunt you should consider these points when deciding when field dressing pheasants.
- If you will travel before preparing the bird for dinner, then you’ll need proof that it is a rooster; you’ll need a leg with a spur attached to the carcass.
- Even if you don’t eat the dark meat found on the legs, someone likely will. Poke around a while, and you might just find a satisfactory recipe to make them tasty.
A simple method to clean a whole bird is this. Starting in the chest area, pull the skin and feathers away from the breast meat with your thumb and one finger; make a small slit in the stretched skin with your knife. Grab a piece of skin on each side of that slit and start pulling your hands apart from one another. Keep doing this until all the skin and feathers are off the breast, legs and back of the bird, except leave the head and neck attached.
- Use your heavy-duty game shears to clip off each wing one at a time right at the joint where the wing attaches to the main part of the body.
- Hold the bird with one hand by its breast with its head facing away from you. Cut just on one side of the pheasant’s butt with your shears parallel to the bird’s spine; keep cutting until you’ve cut through all the ribs and the shears come out by its neck. Repeat on the other side of the spine.
- Set your shears down. Pull the bird’s head and neck back toward you carefully, and all the entrails and spine will come out in one big mess.
- Take your game shears and clip off one leg around the knee joint or where the lower leg skin meets the leg meat. Leave one foot attached for the game warden.
- Wash the bird’s chest cavity and the rest of the pheasant with water. Be sure to wash off all feathers as they bring a gamey taste to the meat.
- Put it in a big sealable bag, and fill with water until the meat is all covered. Leave that spurred foot sticking out and place it in the freezer or your cooler.
This is a quick, easy method to dressing the whole pheasant. To prevent a scream or strange look from the missus, clip off that last leg when you get home before you put it in the deep freeze.