Applewood Smoked Pheasant


applewood smoked pheasant

Every year my husband receives a cooler full of pheasant breasts a friend shares with him after hunting on his family farm in Wisconsin.

We love pheasant so much so that the only method we prefer for cooking is on a grill, slowly smoked using Applewood. The applewood comes from old apple trees that are dying. We cut up the wood of various trees, when they have completed their life providing fruit for harvest. Including apple trees, we use cherry, hickory and pecan.

My husband has become an aficionado of The Big Green Egg Smoker/Grill. It is the only grill we use. Since this area of expertise lies with my husband, it is his recipe that I share here.

In a small bowl, mix together, finely chopped, herbs of oregano, basil, thyme and parsley. About 2 tablespoons of each. Add three tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Place the breast flat on the cutting board. Very carefully slice the breast along the side and into the center, opening the breast.  Over open breast meat, evenly spread the olive oil and herb mixture. Close the breast. With two slices of raw bacon, wrap the breast and secure with toothpicks.

Allow to sit on a platter until the grill is ready.

The temperature on the grill should be 300° F during the entire cooking time.  After 20 minutes, turn the breast.  After 20 more minutes, check for doneness by pressing with tongs for firmness. Or cut into the meat to check for a pink color. If not pink, cook for another 10 minutes, it should be done.

The side dishes included wild rice mixed with pecan pieces and dried cranberries along  with a cabbage and apple combination seasoned with a pinch of salt and allspice.

The dinner was complimented with a Cabernet Sauvignon.

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