Hunting season is upon us at the Erickson household. 

That means there will be decoys laying by the front door. Bright orange jackets and hats lining the coat rack. The dog will be covered in burs and my hunters will be asking me to cook what they’ve harvested. 

I’m happy to oblige. I love wild game. Duck, pheasant, grouse, and goose—I will eat them all. Cooking with wild game really gets my recipe creativity flowing more than any other type of food. 

Most recipes for farm-raised meats do not substitute well with wild game. Most wild game birds and other wild game have very distinct flavors and textures. Which forces me to come up with something new.

I would never use duck in a recipe that calls for chicken, but pheasant is one of those rare birds that actually tastes similar to chicken. Notice I said similar, but not exactly. 

To me, pheasant is more flavorful than chicken and in certain dishes, pheasant will make the dish taste even better.

Recipes that have high amounts of fat from either butter, cheese, or heavy creams will lose the “chickeny” flavor because the fats coat your taste buds making it harder to detect the mild flavors of chicken. 

I love pot pies, but they require a lot of time to make and even more baking time. I’m always trying to find shortcuts in the kitchen. This recipe was one that caught my husband’s attention when I was rambling off ideas for a new recipe last week. 

It’s easy and there’s no additional bake time, but it has all the flavors and warmth of a pot pie. If you do not have access to pheasant, you can always use chicken—it will still taste amazing. 

If you would like more information about cooking with pheasant or other game birds, head over to my website www.wildchowrecipes.com 

Easy Pheasant (or Chicken) Pot Pie Soup

Serves 4 

4 tbsp. butter

1 cup red potatoes, cubed

½ cup onion, minced

2 celery stalks, sliced thin

2 carrots, chopped

½ cup flour

½ - 1 tsp. salt

Pepper to taste

5 cups homemade pheasant broth or chicken broth

1 cup cooked pheasant or chicken breast meat, chopped

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup half and half

1 ready-made pie crust 

Preheat oven to 400º Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. 

Roll out pie crust on a lightly floured surface. Cut it into ¼ inch strips. Make a lattice by alternating each strip over and under each other. With a round cookie cutter, cut out 4-8 circles. With a lightly floured spatula, place them on the baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until crusts begins to lightly brown. Cool and set aside.

In a Dutch oven, over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the potatoes, onion, celery, and carrots; cook and stir for 10 minutes. Add the flour, salt, and pepper. Cook for 1 minute and slowly add the broth. Increase heat, and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until potatoes and carrots are tender. Stir in peas and chopped meat. Return to a simmer and cook for 2 additional minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the half and half. Ladle 2 cups into each bowl and top each bowl with a pie crust lattice. Serve immediately.  

Lisa Erickson is a food columnist who loves adventure and food. You can find more recipes by emailing her at wildchowrecipes@gmail.com.

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