I’m just about done with last season’s pheasant supply in the freezer. Last year, I made just about every type of pheasant meatball I could think of, so I’ve tried to find some other things to do with it this year, our favorite dish of late being a pheasant version of butter chicken. Today I’m grilling skewered strips of pheasant breast, which is pretty much going to be like flash cooking, as it will only take a minute or so on each side to be done. I’m starting with a coconut milk marinade and serving it with a peanut sauce made with some of the reserved marinade. Meat on a stick seems like a good weekend meal.
Coconut Pheasant Satay
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons red curry powder
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste or grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste or grated garlic
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt (for marinade)
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt or to taste ( for dipping sauce)
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- Optional additions: soy sauce and sesame oil
- Mix the first four ingredients—coconut milk, curry powder, ginger, garlic—until well combined. Pour half the mixture into a second bowl.
- To the first bowl, whisk in the tablespoon of salt, and add the pheasant strips to marinate. Cover and refrigerate for 3-4 hours. Remove at least 30 minutes before grilling to skewer and to come to room temperature.
- To the second bowl, whisk in the tahini, peanut butter, and the teaspoon of salt. Refrigerate until 1 hour before serving. The sauce should be served at room temperature.
- Remove marinating pheasant from refrigerator and skewer strips onto soaked bamboo skewers. Allow to come to room temperature while preparing the grill.
- Set up grill for direct heat at 400° using 40-50 briquettes. Unless you are grilling something else, like a vegetable first, you will be done grilling long before the coals burn down to ash, so don’t waste them by using too many. Still you need to reach a hot temperature.
- When the grill is hot, brush the cooking grate with oil and grill each skewer for 1-2 minutes per side. Don’t overcook.
- Serve with dipping sauce.
Even though soaked, some of your skewers will probably burn up on the grill, like mine, and you could be left with stubs. It did not affect our eating them all. I think the professional cooking sites, just brown the meat with a blow torch 😉
In this variation on tapioca pudding recipes, I use all coconut milk and do not bother with soaking the tapioca first. Neither do I use a double boiler—not a fan of double boilers.
Step 1: cook tapioca in coconut milk
Step 2: stir in yolks and sugar
Step 3: whisk in egg whites
wish I had a whole vanilla bean for the photo
Coconut Tapioca Pudding
If you really must soak your tapioca pearls, do so in the coconut milk for about 30 mins. But why?
- 2 cans coconut milk, whole fat, shaken well before opening
- 1/2 cup small pearl tapioca
- pinch of salt
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 egg whites, stiffly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine the coconut milk and tapioca in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Stir often over a low simmer for 15 minutes, until the tapioca is translucent and tender. If you soaked the tapioca first, it may cook a little more quickly.
- Beat the egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow. Mix about half the hot tapioca mixture into the egg/sugar mixture. Pour the tempered eggs and sugar into the pan and stir to combine with the rest of the tapioca mixture. Cook and stir over a low simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and beaten egg whites. You really have to do this quickly because the pudding mixture is hot and will cook your egg whites.
- Pour into serving dishes. Eat right away or refrigerate to eat later.
Of all the dishes I’ve done with pheasant, I don’t think I’ve tried any slow cooker recipes, so here’s my first (and I finally added a Slow Cooker category). It cooks rather quickly, even in a slow cooker, at just 3-5 hours on low; I wouldn’t try it for one of those all-day recipes where you start it in the morning and go to work. I fear the tender little breasts would be tasteless and dry by the end of an entire day.
There are lots of recipes out there for butter chicken, but just a few elements tie them together:
- Butter—there is no substitute for this, or you have to call the dish something else
- Something creamy—yogurt, cream, or coconut milk
- Tomato—fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, or thick tomato sauce
- Spices—garam masala, curry powder or paste, ginger, chili powder, cumin
Easy and really tasty.
Sauce mixed into cubes
More butter, please!
Pheasant Breasts—Butter Chicken Style
- 2 lbs pheasant breasts, cut in large cubes
- 1 large or two medium onions, thinly sliced
- 3-4 tablespoons butter; more for serving
- 2 cups thick tomato sauce (see my roasted tomato sauce here)
- 1 can coconut milk (I used full fat)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch, mixed with a little of the coconut milk
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon red curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 4 teaspoons garlic paste or roasted garlic
- 2 tablespoons ginger paste or 2 inches fresh ginger grated
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Optional: cilantro, if you like it, for serving or stirred into the sauce
- Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet and saute onions until translucent.
- Stir in spices, salt and pepper, garlic, and ginger, cooking until fragrant.
- Stir in tomato sauce, coconut milk and cornstarch/coconut milk mixture. Simmer until slightly thickened.
- Pour sauce over cubed pheasant in slow cooker. Cook on low for 3-4 hours, but not longer than 5 hours.
Serve with brown basmati rice and warm naan. Place a pat of butter on each serving for a little decadence.