Pheasant Fajitas – A Minnesotan Twist on a Mexican Cuisine

Pheasant fajitas?! Who in the world has pheasant in their freezer?!  

Thanks to our macho dad who goes on a hunting trip to South Dakota every fall, we do. In fact, he brings home so many pheasants (within the legal limit of course) that we are still eating them in July. So, we’ve gotten creative with our preparation of pheasant…pheasant fajitas.

Unlike chicken fajitas, pheasant fajitas require a little muscle and the ability to wield a knife. After defrosting the bird, we placed it on the cutting board. We looked down at it and as usual, it kind of creeped us out that the foot, or “claw” as we like to call it, was still attached to the leg. (The reason the “claw” is still there is to prove that the bird is a male, since it is illegal to hunt female pheasants. Males have spurs on their feet, while females do not. The other option is to keep the head on the bird to show it is a male. We’re glad Dad chooses to keep the foot. Pulling a head out of the freezer would be creepier.) So, we cut the foot off and proceeded to butcher the bird.

Once we had nice strips of pheasant breasts, we placed them in the marinade of fresh lime juice, garlic, dried oregano, chile powder, and cumin. A marriage of Minnesota and Mexican flavors! We topped the fajitas with salsa, and homemade guacamole which we squeezed fresh orange juice into to give it extra pizzazz. Perfection! Happy double dipping!

Recipe – Adapted from The Complete Hunter Game Bird Cookery

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1/3 Cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 whole boneless, skinless pheasant breasts (5-6 oz. each, cut length-wise into 1 1/2 inch strips)*
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 8 whole wheat tortillas (6 inches)

*If you do not have a macho, hunter dad, husband, brother, or friend you can substitute chicken for the pheasant.

Garnishes (optional)

  • Salsa
  • Guacamole

Method

1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine lime juice, oregano, garlic, cumin, chile powder, sugar, salt, and pepper. 

2. Add pheasant strips, stirring to coat. 

3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours. 

4. Heat 12 inch skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle with olive oil or spray with non-stick vegetable cooking spray. 

5. Add onion, green pepper, and red pepper to skillet. Let cook for 5 minutes, until somewhat tender. 

6. Add pheasant strips to skillet and cook for 4 to 6 minutes or until meat is no longer pink, stirring frequently. 

7. Spoon mixture evenly onto tortillas and top with guacamole and salsa. Enjoy!

Nutrition per serving (2 fajitas)

Calories: 358   Carbs: 45g   Fat: 8g   Protein: 26g   Sodium: 433mg

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