Recipe by Stacy Lyn Harris. Recipe featured in the Dec-Jan 20 issue.
- 6 pheasant breasts
- 1/4 pound bacon (4 slices), cooked and crumbled
- 2 tablespoons bacon grease
- 1 large Vidalia or yellow onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 large bag tortilla chips
- Cheese Sauce, recipe following
- Guacamole, recipe following
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup chives, chopped
- 2 red or green jalapeños, sliced
For the Cheese Sauce
- 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup warm whole milk
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
For the Guacamole
- 3 ripe avocados
- 1 jalapeño, more or less to your taste
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 1/2 medium Vidalia or yellow onion, minced
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, cook bacon for about 3 minutes, flip, and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until the bacon is brown. Remove to drain on a paper towel. When cool enough, crumble the bacon and set aside. Reserve the bacon grease.
- Spread bacon grease over the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the onions and the garlic cloves in the slow cooker.
- In a medium bowl, add pheasant breasts, liquid smoke, salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder, and toss to coat the pheasant with the seasoning. Place the pheasant and seasonings into the slow cooker and pour in the broth.
- Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for 8 hours. Once the pheasant is tender, use 2 forks to shred the meat into the juices. If you want it crispy, use a slotted spoon and scoop the meat out of the juices into a hot cast-iron skillet and allow to brown for at least 2 minutes without disturbing, then turn the pheasant meat over and allow to brown for about 2 minutes more.
FOR THE CHEESE SAUCE:
- For the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk until the mixture is smooth and barely begins to bubble. Add the warm milk to the pan and cook over medium-high heat until it begins to boil, then lower to a simmer while continuing to stir until it begins to thicken.
- Add the salt, cayenne, and mustard to the mixture and whisk until combined. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Add the cheese in handfuls, vigorously mixing in between each handful until well incorporated and all the cheese has been added.
FOR THE GUACAMOLE:
Mix all the guacamole ingredients in medium-sized bowl. Leave it a little chunky for better texture.
Place a layer of chips on a large platter. Add half of the cheese sauce, half of the guacamole, half of the crumbled bacon, and half of the chives, and a few dollops of sour cream. Add another layer of chips, the shredded pheasant, and the remaining ingredients, finishing with the chives and sliced jalapeños.
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