Cooking Classes


Pheasant Escabeche

First of all, thank you to everyone who voted for me in the Calgary Herald photo contest. I won! Yeah! Now I just have to find a way to pick up my cookbook! They don't mail it out.

It is pheasant season and awhile back I was showing off my prowess in dressing pheasants. I have been hesitant to cook with them until I found a truly inspiring recipe. The inspiration for this comes from a wonderful blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. Hank has several recipes for game birds.

This escabeche uses the entire bird. Everything I need is in my pantry. And it keeps well refrigerated for a week or more. The vinegar works as a preservative. I wanted to try it.

Even though it looks nothing like the escabeche recipe on Hank's blog, the flavour is amazing. It looks like a curry but that colour comes from the carrots in the stewing mixture. Directions told me to puree the mixture but next time I would puree only half and leave the texture of some of the vegetables in tact. I am serving this with a saffron and almond rice pilaf.

Pheasant Escabeche      adapted from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook
  • 2 pheasants
  • 1/3 cup olive oil 
  • lemon peel from 1 lemon, white pith removed
  • 1/2 cup sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar 
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 6 bay leaves 
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 cloves 
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled 
  • 1 onion, sliced into half-moons 
  • 2 sliced carrots
  • Salt
  1. Cut birds into serving pieces and salt well. Set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot with a lid over medium heat and cook the lemon peel in the oil until it browns. Remove and discard.
  3. Saute birds until nicely browned. Remove and set aside.
  4. Saute the onion in the lemon-flavored olive oil until just beginning to brown.
  5. Add the carrots and garlic and saute for a few minutes, stirring often.
  6. Pour in the vinegar, white wine, all the herbs and spices and bring to a simmer.
  7. Put in the pheasant and add a little water. You want the birds to be almost submerged, but not completely. Cover and simmer slowly for 90 minutes.
  8. Remove the birds and discard the bay leaves.
  9. Puree the sauce.
  10. Return it to the pot and bring to a simmer. Return the birds to the sauce. Turn off the heat and cover. Let the birds cool in the sauce for an hour or so.
  11. Serve cold, warmed up or at room temperature.


  1. I haven't had pheasant since my father stopped hunting a good 35 years ago! Yours look great.

  2. Sarah,

    Oh wow, I haven't had pheasant since my stay in France in the late seventies! Sounds wonderful! (just finished reading a book by Chef Joel Robuchon in which he claims pheasant is the best thing in the world to eat). Anyway, I am sure this dish would work with duck, the flavors sound just delicious.

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