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Secret pheasant recipe satisfies all tastes

WORTHINGTON -- How many of you like to cook? I mastered macaroni and cheese at a young age. I even passed this great skill on to my children, but they were promoted to the microwave version of this American mainstay. I really do like cooking. There is something about going out and harvesting a bird or animal and then bringing it home and eating it. Many hunters really like the hunting part but really don't care much for the eating part.

I really don't like to hunt anything that I won't eat. There are a few exceptions, and one of them is crows. I don't mind shooting crows and then not eating them.

One of the reasons that I don't hunt waterfowl much is that I don't much care for the taste of them. I am sure that are many good duck recipes out there, but I have never run across one that I think can compare to my super-secret heart attack pheasant recipe.

My mother taught this one to me and I am asked for it all the time so I thought that I would print it again for your possible use. It's nicknamed heart attack pheasant because almost all of the ingredients will send your cholesterol reading into the atmosphere.

Most people that cook wild game spend almost all their efforts in trying to cover up the taste of what ever it is that they are cooking. Mushroom soup is the most common cover agent. If it weren't for wild game cooking the sales of mushroom soup would decline by 80 percent.

If you don't like the taste of something, just bury it in mushroom soup for four days and hope that it when you're done all that you will taste is the soup.

Crock pots are another favorite when if comes to cooking wild game. This does have merit in many cases because of the fact that wild game tends to be dryer meat. Slow cooking in a crock pot has a tendency to preserve the moisture, so the end result does not chew the same as shoe leather.

Everyone can speak about their deer steaks, the bear roast or the baked duck, but there is no equal to my sour cream pheasant. The recipe does not cover the taste of the game but creates a meal that will have even those diehards who hate wild game coming back for seconds. I have heard over and over from folks who have told that they don't like pheasant that they have been converted since trying this method.

Easy is the word for sour cream pheasant. The necessary ingredients are: flour, butter, sour cream, milk, salt and pepper and about four birds to feed six people.

Start by cutting up the birds into what ever size pieces you prefer. Coat them in the flour/pepper mixture and fry them in lots of butter over medium high heat until browned. They do not need to be cooked through. Remove pheasant and place it in a baking dish. Put large amounts of sour cream in the frying pan and stir up all of the pan fryings -- adding enough milk to create loose gravy. Pour this gravy over the pheasant trying to cover the meat. Bake the end result at 320 degrees for 90 minutes adding milk as necessary to keep the creation from drying out.

I really like onions so I slice an onion really thin and lay these over the pheasant before baking. If you remove the lid 30 minutes before completion these onions turn golden brow and really add to the end result. The best part of this recipe is that taste testing the fried pheasant along the way helps you get ready for the main course but usually results in needing and extra bird or two to feed all the guests.

Other than the cholesterol danger there is also the stray shotgun pellet problem. These pesky hitch hikers can raise cane to your dental work, so bake at your own risk. This method can also be used for doves, grouse, partridge and many other wild animals. I have never used it on anything that I think didn't turn out.

With pheasant season a little more than half over, its time to start enjoying the fruits of my hunting efforts. After your big Thanksgiving meal yesterday you will probably not want to cook again until after all of the leftovers are gone, but when you do give this a try. Just maybe it will replace turkey as the main dish next year.