Ring-necked pheasants were introduced to North America over 100 years ago and have become a favorite amongst upland game bird enthusiasts. A wily rooster can outrun most hunters, and the cackling combined with thundering wingbeats gets a hunter’s heart racing. To run 10 miles per hour and hit speeds of 60 miles per hour on the wing, these colorful birds are in a class of fast food all on their own.
The biggest bonus to pheasant hunting is how they grace a plate. The succulent white flesh is tender and flavorful. Pheasant is versatile in a variety of recipes. These Honey Sesame nuggets with a sweet and spicy sauce are the perfect way to enjoy pheasant. Frying the pieces in oil helps maintain moisture and ensures every bite is tender. Using honey is the best way to add natural sweetness to the dish.
Ingredients • 4-6 pheasant breasts, boneless (with silvers trimmed out) cut into 1-inch chunks • ¾ cup cornstarch • ½ cup flour • 1 tsp salt • ¼ tsp ground black pepper • 2 eggs • canola oil for frying
Sesame Sauce Ingredients • 1 Tbsp tomato paste • 2 cloves garlic minced • 1 Tbsp chili sauce • ¼ cup honey • ⅓ cup soy sauce • ¼ cup rice vinegar • 2 Tbsp brown sugar • 2 Tbsp cornstarch • ½ cup water • 2 tsp sesame oil
Garnish • green onions • sesame seeds
Directions for Sesame Sauce 1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the tomato paste, garlic, chili sauce, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar and brown sugar and bring to a slow boil.
2. In a shallow bowl, whisk cornstarch and water together and slowly stir them into the sauce. Bring to a simmer to thicken and reduce heat to keep warm.
Directions for Cooking Pheasant 1. To create the coating for the pheasant pieces, combine the cornstarch, four, salt and black pepper in a zipper bag or sealable container.
2. In a medium bowl, beat eggs together.
3. Pour 2 inches of canola oil into a deep frying pan and heat it over medium-high heat.
4. Coat the pheasant pieces in egg, then dredge in the coating mixture. Do the pieces in small batches to ensure they stay dry and are fully coated with dry ingredients.
5. Place the pheasant pieces in the hot oil one at a time and cook in small batches. The pheasant will cook in 3 to 4 minutes and turn golden and crispy.
6. Place the cooked pheasant in a serving bowl and pour the sesame sauce over the top.
7. Garnish with green onion and sesame seeds and serve hot.