Cooking a whole pheasant with a can of beer is fun and results in a flavorful, juicy bird with crispy skin, plus it’s a heck of a lot easier than deep-frying
By: Scott Leysath, “The Sporting Chef”
For even better-tasting upland birds, first submerge the pheasants in a brine of 1 gallon water mixed with 1 cup each kosher salt and brown sugar. Keep between 34 and 40 degrees for 6 to 12 hours. Drain, pat dry and start cooking.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
- 2 whole pheasants, skin intact
- ¼ cup fresh, chopped rosemary leaves
- ¼ cup fresh, chopped basil leaves
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lemon, sliced and diced
- ¼ cup softened butter
- Salt and pepper
- 2 cans of beer
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Starting at each pheasant’s neck, carefully separate the skin from the body, trying not to tear the skin. The idea is to create a space between the skin and body.
3. In a bowl, combine rosemary, basil, parsley, garlic, lemon, butter and a few shakes of salt and pepper. With your fingers, spread a layer of the mixture between the skin and breast of each pheasant. Liberally season cavity and skin with salt and pepper.
4. Open beers and pour out (or drink) about ⅓ of the liquid. Place one open beer can inside each pheasant. If you don’t have a device to keep the pheasants upright, place them on their backs with the can opening turned up.
5. Place pheasants in a baking pan and roast for 30 minutes or until internal temperature is 150 degrees. Allow birds to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.