Each Christmas we’re lucky enough to be sent a box of pheasants that were left over from a shoot. Why anyone would want to shoot animals and then not eat them is beyond me – such a waste of excellent meat. Still – their loss, my gain. This year we had 8 braces of pheasants to prepare – they’ll generally end up in the freezer and get used up during January and February.
You can pluck pheasants but when you have 16 of them to get through and intend to use them in stews, curries etc, it makes more sense to skin them.
Chop the head off and start to remove the skin and feathers – the skin gives way easily around the breast – you can push it apart with you thumbs to reveal the breast meat underneath.

Remove the wings and the feet at the joints.

The last supper – the pheasant’s crop opened to show its last meal.

Carefully cut a small hole in the bottom and then remove its innards.

Give it a good wash.

And you’re done – ready to be cooked or, in my case, stuck in the freezer for use later in the new year.

I’ll be cooking a pheasant casserole later today – keep an eye out for the recipe.