I’m branching out with trying new protein sources. At Christmas, I made my first duck. So while shopping at Whole Foods I saw an organic pheasant. Having never had pheasant before, I said to myself, “I’m game” (no pun intended).
But how does one cook pheasant? So I asked on my Facebook page. Some suggested that I use the crock pot. I love cooking in the crock pot — just put everything in and leave it. Now how to season it? That morning, I was watching a show on PBS called New Scandanavian Cooking and one of the things the chef made was a Norwegian dish called Chicken with Saffron and Cinnamon. My husband is 100% Norwegian so I decided to give it a try.
Crock Pot Cinnamon and Saffron Pheasant
Yields: 4 servings
1 organic young pheasant
2 teaspoons duck fat (or olive oil)
2 inches of a cinnamon stick, broken into smaller pieces
1/4 teaspoon saffron
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
Cinnamon Orange Reduction
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Remove the neck and giblets from the pheasant cavity.
Sprinkle the pheasant inside and out with sale and pepper to taste. Put garlic and cinnamon stick in the crock pot. Rub pheasant with oil (I still have some duck fat left from when I made duck at Christmas so I use that). Sprinkle pheasant with saffron.
Cover and cook on low for 5 hours or until the pheasant is tender and the internal temperature in the thickest part of the thigh reaches between 160 to 165°F Remove from crock pot and place on serving platter. Cover and set aside to allow carry over to finish the process to about 180°F.
For the last hour of the cook time, I basted the pheasant with a Cinnamon Orange Reduction. To make the reduction, in a small pan, add juice, sugar and cinnamon and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Let cool. As it cools, it will become a thick syrup.
Since we are only two, we had leftovers which I turned into Cinnamon Saffron Pheasant Salad Sandwiches.