Scott Leysath decided to tag along with Melissa Bachman of Winchester Deadly Passion when she went out on a pheasant hunt. While Melissa was downing some birds, Scott was preparing this stew for the hunting party. No wonder everyone loves it when Scott comes along!
- 1 onion, diced (can use cut ends of onion – throw no parts away)
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- Bay Leaf
- Fresh herbs (rosemary is my go-to)
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup carrot, peeled and diced
- 1 cup celery, diced
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup flour
- 5 cups pheasant or chicken stock
- 2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 cups whole milk (optional, if omitted, add 2 cups stock)
- 1 cup cooked wild rice
- 2 cups cooked pheasant, shredded
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Browning and braising
- Brown the pheasant legs and thighs in a large, lightly-oiled, heavy-duty, oven-safe stock pot.
- Add diced onion, celery and carrot.
- Brown until the onions are translucent.
- Remove the legs.
- Add 1 inch of water and stir to deglaze stuck bits in the pot. Return the browned pheasant, cover and place in a 325-degree oven, ensuring there is always 1 inch of liquid in the pot.
- After 3 hours, test for doneness. Meat will fall off bones when done. Cool the meat.
- Return picked legs and thigh bones to the braising pot.
- Add additional celery, carrots, onions along with garlic cloves, bay leaves and fresh herbs.
- Cover the contents of the pot with cold water, bring to a low-boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered for several hours.
- Strain liquid through colander lined with cheesecloth to clarify the liquid.
- Melt half the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add next ingredients from list above and cook until onions are translucent.
- Add butter. When melted, sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir often for three minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup pheasant stock and continue stirring until smooth. Add remaining stock, a little at a time, while stirring.
- Add mushrooms and milk (if you want it a little creamy), bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Stir in rice and shredded pheasant. Season to taste with salt and pepper.