Since the pheasant originally hails from the East, it only makes since that its meat both accommodates and accentuates Eastern spices and recipes. The dish satay, though its origin remains unclear, is traditionally believed to have originated in Indonesia or Malaysia as a street vendor adaption of Indian kebabs. Marinated in a mix of special spices and skewered with bamboo sticks then grilled over an open flame, this variation of pheasant makes for quite a treat when you pair it with a Thai peanut sauce made famous by The Elk Public House in Spokane, Washington. Satay can be served over jasmine rice or ketupat (rice dumplings). Feel free to forego the homemade marinade recipe and instead marinate your pheasants strip in your favorite store-bought sauce. However, be certain not to miss out on this great-tasting Thai peanut dipping or drizzle sauce.
Makes four servings.
Pheasant satay marinade
- Two pheasant breasts, cut diagonally into strips
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1/2 cup pineapple juice
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup lemon grass, finely diced
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh ginger, finely diced
- 4 large cloves of fresh garlic
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons coriander
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
Thai peanut sauce
- Two 13.5-ounce cans of unsweetened coconut milk
- 1/4 cup red curry paste
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup lime juice
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 cups jasmine rice
- 2-3/4 cups cold water
Peel away dry stalks of lemon grass and finely dice along with peeled, fresh ginger. Set aside. Dice half medium yellow onion. Peel garlic cloves. Add all marinade ingredients and spices (EXCEPT pheasant strips) to a blender or food processor and thoroughly blend for a minute. Cut pheasant breasts diagonally into half-inch strips. Place pheasant strips in a large mixing bowl and cover with blended marinade. Let pheasant marinate for at least two hours.
Soak bamboo skewers in water while pheasant marinates. In a medium pot, add all peanut sauce ingredients and heat on medium-low for one hour, stirring often. Pre-heat grill so grate becomes hot and able to quickly sear proteins.
In a separate medium pot, add jasmine rice and cold water and cover with lid. Heat on high until boiling then reduce to very low until all water is absorbed (approximately 10 to 15 minutes). Leave lid on until ready to serve.
When ready to grill, skewer pheasant strips with bamboo sticks and place on hot grill. Cover grill in an effort to not burn bamboo sticks. Turn skewers with tongs when grill marks appear on underside. Grill all sides until pheasant is cooked thoroughly and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit (best noted by a firm texture when touched). Remove cooked skewers from grill and serve over jasmine rice. Either drizzle peanut sauce overtop or serve in a small bowl for dipping.
Former line cook and passionate denizen of the outdoors, Jack Hennessy is the author of the blog “Braising the Wild.” He lives with his wife in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Follow him on Twitter @WildGameJack or on Facebook at Facebook.com/BraisingtheWild.