A flavorful sausage often found in traditional Louisiana gumbo, andouille (an-DOO-ee) packs a spicy punch. If you prefer a milder option, substitute kielbasa, or use less hot sauce. This recipe halves easily, and you can freeze the cooked pheasant meat for use in soups, stews, or pasta dishes. Filé powder (ground sassafras leaves) adds a mild flavor, similar to eucalyptus, and is often added to gumbo for its thickening properties.
1 (2 3/4-pound) pheasant
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
4 ounces andouille sausage, diced
6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
1 cup shucked oysters, undrained
1 teaspoon filé powder
4 cups hot cooked rice
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 425°.
Remove neck and giblets from pheasant; discard. Place pheasant in a small roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Starting at neck cavity, loosen skin from breast and drumsticks by inserting fingers, gently pushing between skin and meat. Rub 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper under loosened skin and over breast and drumsticks. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Cover legs with foil.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°. (Do not remove pheasant from oven.) Bake pheasant 30 minutes or until juices run clear. Cool. Remove and discard skin. Remove meat from bones; shred meat. Discard bones.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually add flour to butter, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Cook 7 minutes or until dark brown, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add yellow onion, bell pepper, and celery to pan; sauté 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add herbes de Provence, garlic, and bay leaves; saute 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add shredded pheasant and sausage to pan; sauté 5 minutes. Add flour mixture; cook 30 seconds, stirring well. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes (skim foam from surface, if necessary). Stir in Creole seasoning, Worcestershire, and hot pepper sauce; cook 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add oysters; cook 2 minutes or until edges begin to curl. Remove from heat. Stir in filé powder. Discard bay leaves. Serve over rice; sprinkle with green onions.
Commander's Palace Restaurant, New Orleans, Louisiana