If you need an idea for cooking your game birds during bird hunting season, we love this recipe for Spatchocked Pheasant from MeatEater Cook. Spatchcocking is is a simple and effective method for cooking game birds. It allows the meat to cook more quickly and consistently. Check out the recipe below, and be sure to cook it all in the cast iron skillet from Grizzly.
How to Make It
- Make the dry rub by mixing the above listed ingredients in a bowl. The spice mix should be plenty for two whole birds. Save the leftover rub for seasoning other meats, potatoes, vegetables, etc.
- Using heavy-duty scissors, cut along each side of the spine. It helps to move the thigh and find where the joint connects to avoid cutting through any meat. Remove the backbone, pull the legs out and flip the bird over so that the breasts are facing up. Flatten out the bird by pressing down firmly on the breastplate with your hands. You might hear a crack on each side of the wishbone.
- Pat the pheasant as dry as you can with paper towels. Season generously with the dry rub. If you kept the skin on, be sure to rub the spice mix under the skin so it covers the meat, being careful not to tear it.
- For best results, I highly recommend setting your birds uncovered, skin side up on a baking rack or in a sheet pan inside a refrigerator. This will allow plenty of airflow. Let the pheasants rest and dry out for several hours or overnight in the fridge. The drier the skin is, the crispier it will be once grilled.
- Prepare the Mojo sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth and store in the fridge until ready to use.
- Remove the pheasant from the fridge about an hour before grilling and let it come to room temperature.
- Rub the birds down with about 2 teaspoons of fat/oil per bird. Use skewers to help stabilize by piercing through the top of the breast and crossing over through the thigh meat on both sides to create an “X.” If you use bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them for at least 30 minutes prior to grilling.
- Heat the grill over medium-high heat. Grill the pheasant skin side down for about 5 minutes, or until the skin begins to crisp and char. Flip the pheasant and then move it to the side of the grill over indirect heat. Turn the burners down to low and close the lid. Cook for an additional 25 minutes, or until the breast meat registers about 155 degrees.
- Remove the pheasant and serve with the mojo sauce.