If this is your first time preparing a whole pheasant and you want to make sure you have a beautiful side dish and sauce, without even giving it a second thought, you can purchase MacFarlane Pheasants’ whole pheasant that includes the fabulous Rice River Farms Wild Rice and Cranberry Grilling Sauce. Just click on the whole pheasant link to purchase. All you have to do is add any fresh vegetable you love. We especially enjoy asparagus with this meal.
You might wonder if preparing a whole pheasant with grilling sauce is difficult. Definitely not! My experience with preparing a whole pheasant has always been great. I feel like an accomplished chef, because the result has such a gourmet flair, but the prep requires just a few steps! You really don’t have to watch it any more carefully than if you were grilling burgers.
There are two ways to grill a whole pheasant, one is to spatchcock it before grilling. It basically means to cut out the backbone so you can open the bird up flat. You’ll need a sharp pair of cooking scissors! You nick the breastbone, after cutting out the backbone, and open the pheasant “like a book.” An advantage of this is that it will grill more evenly and will not take as long to get done.
You can also just put your whole pheasant on the grill. I use a cast iron pan on my gas grill so that I do not lose the fat from my pheasant. I want it to crisp on the outside and be juicy on the inside. I always oil up my pan, too!
Getting Your Pheasant Ready for the Grill
Salt and pepper your pheasant, add your favorite herbs, and fill the cavity with your prepared rice, if you want. If you don’t add your rice to the pheasant cavity, feel free to put a piece of bacon and some onion inside the cavity. It adds flavor and keeps your pheasant moist.
Rub your pheasant down with lard or butter or wrap a few pieces of bacon around it. This will keep the meat moist while it is cooking.
You will want to keep your grill temperature at 250-325-a little higher to start out so you can crisp the meat a bit and then turn it down. Indirect heat is best. I use the top shelf on my grill to avoid crisping the outside too much.
You grill a whole pheasant like you are cooking a chicken, but they are a little smaller so it doesn't take as long. Add your Cranberry Grilling Sauce every 5 minutes when your pheasant is approaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees. It should take 30 minutes to an hour to be fully cooked. Keep an eye on it!
Don’t forget to let your pheasant rest for a few minutes after grilling so the juices run through the meat. Enjoy! Visit our online store for more delicious pheasant and other wild game choices.