Recipe by Rachel Hogan. Recipe featured in the August-September 2021 issue.
Chef’s Note: This Savory Pheasant Thigh recipe is really versatile. I’m presenting the recipe two ways so you can enjoy and be inspired: as a flat bread (featured in V9N5) or as a savory, soul-satisfying Tikka Masala. This take on Tikka Masala is complex and rich with flavors built from layers of garlic, ginger, peppers, spices, tomatoes, and a touch of orange to add balance and a fresh sweet finish. Traditionally made with chicken, this curry can feature any gamebird with delicious results. Serve over rice with chickpeas and cilantro for a beautifully composed dish.
- 12 pheasant thighs, boneless and skinless
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- Tikka Masala Sauce, recipe following
- Roasted chickpeas, for serving
- Cooked rice, for serving
For the Tikka Masala Sauce
- 1/3 cup ginger-garlic paste (equal parts garlic and ginger blended into a paste with 1 tablespoon coconut oil)
- 2 jalapeño peppers, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 8 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- 1 can coconut cream
- Juice of one orange
- Combine the soy sauce, orange juice, and grated ginger in large bowl. Add pheasant thighs to mixture and marinate for 90 minutes.
- To begin making the sauce, sauté the ginger-garlic paste and jalapeños until lightly browned in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the tomato paste and cook until the tomato has darkened in color, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in garam masala, paprika, and cumin. Brown for about 1 more minute to draw out the flavors.
- Add the tomatoes and salt. Bring to boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. You may need to add a little water depending on how much liquid the tomatoes give off.
- Pour the sauce into a blender or use an immersion blender, and process until smooth. Pour back into the skillet and bring back up to a simmer. Finish with orange juice and coconut cream. Bring back to a simmer. At this point you can serve the sauce or add veggies and simmer for 15 minutes. Note: A touch of honey may be needed to balance the sauce if your tomatoes aren’t super sweet.
- Remove the pheasant thighs from marinade, and pat dry.
- Pan-sear thighs over medium heat, 2 to 3 minutes a side. Let rest and slice.
Place the pheasant breast over the Tikka Masala Sauce and serve with rice.
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