Pheasant stock is a great way to use parts of pheasants (and other game birds) that are often left in the field. You can get a lot of flavor out of a small amount of meat and bones if you give it plenty of time. This recipe uses a crockpot which makes hands-off for most of the cooking time! Once you try homemade stock in your recipes (like this pheasant noodle soup), you'll never want to buy storebought again!
Why This Recipe Works:
Pheasant (and other game birds) legs and carcasses are often left in the field. The legs can be difficult to work with because of all the tiny tendons hidden inside the meat. But if you braise them until they're tender, it's easy to pull out the tendons and you're left with delicious, flavorful meat. The bones are full of flavor and nutrients as well. Stock is a great use for the parts you might not normally keep.
This stock recipe simmers for 24 hours in a crockpot. It seems like a long time, but the flavor developed in that time is incredible! Using a crockpot instead of a stockpot makes this recipe a little more hands-off. Once the stock is done simmering, strain it, and you have a great base for lots of delicious recipes like this pheasant noodle soup recipe.
- Pheasant Legs: This stock recipe uses pheasant legs but any combination of pheasant breasts, legs, or carcasses can be used instead.
- Mushroom Stems: Mushroom stems are optional but they add a great umami flavor to your stock. Next time you're cutting mushrooms up, put the stems in a bag and save them in the freezer for the next time you make stock!
- Vegetables: This recipe uses whole vegetables, but you can save carrot peels, onion scraps, hearts and leaves from celery, etc. from other recipes too. Store your scraps in a zippered bag in the freezer until you're ready to make stock!
- Crockpot: This recipe uses a crockpot but you can also use a stockpot on the stove or Instant Pot instead.
- Nut Milk Bags: Nut milk bags are a great option for straining stock because they strain more quickly than paper towels but are just as effective at removing small grainy particles. They are also reusable so they can help reduce waste! You can also use paper towels or cheesecloth to strain the stock.
Step by Step Instructions:
How To Make Pheasant Stock:
Making stock is mostly a hands-off process due to the long simmering time. But, there are a few important steps to take to ensure your stock turns out delicious!
Pro Tip: You can use vegetable scraps instead of whole vegetables for making stock. Keep a large zippered bag in the freezer and add vegetable scraps to it over time. Once it's full, you're ready to make stock!
How to Strain Stock:
Stock can be strained to varying degrees depending on how "clean" you want the final product to be. You can strain it through a fine mesh strainer to remove only the big stuff, or you can use any of the methods below to remove more of the fine sediment for a smoother stock.
Pro Tip: If you plan to freeze your stock, cool it completely in jars in the fridge before freezing it. This will help avoid cracking of the jars.
What to Make with Pheasant Stock:
Pheasant stock is great to have on hand for any recipe that calls for stock or broth. You can store it in half-pint jars for recipes that only call for a cup, or freeze it in larger jars for recipes like pheasant noodle soup. Whatever you choose to add your stock to, it's sure to add a delicious richness to your dish that storebought broth won't!
Don't leave your carcasses in the field! Bring them home and make stock instead. You can use the stock for soups, pot pies, braising, or whatever you like to use broth for!
Pheasant legs are full of connective tissue and can be tough if not cooked properly. Braise them at a low temperature for several hours until the meat is tender and falls of the bone.
Pheasant fat is very rich and can add a lot of flavor to stock. There's no need to remove the skin and fat from pheasant before making stock unless the skin is not in good condition. Remove any bloodshot portions of skin but keep the rest!
Other Recipes to Try:
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Crockpot Pheasant Stock
- 12 pheasant legs (or legs and breasts, or whole pheasant)
- 6 large carrots
- 6 stalks celery (leaves attached)
- 1 medium onion
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup mushroom stems (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- ½ bunch Italian parsley
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add pheasant legs and boil for 20 minutes to remove any off flavors, blood, etc.
- Remove pheasant legs from water and place in a crockpot. Discard water.
- Wash carrots, celery and trim as needed. You can leave the peels on the carrots as long as the peels are clean.
- Wash onion and cut roots and top off. Cut into quarters.
- Place carrots, celery, onion, garlic, mushroom stems, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and vinegar in crockpot. Cover with water, about 12 cups.
- Turn crockpot on high until stock is simmering, about 2 hours.
- Reduce heat to low. After 2-3 more hours, remove pheasant legs and remove the meat from the bones. Place meat in an airtight container and refrigerate for another use (like soup!).
- Place bones, tendons, and skin (if you have it) back in the crockpot. Continue cooking on low for 20 hours (24 hours total cooking time).
- Add parsley 1 hour before cooking time is completed.
- Strain stock using a fine mesh strainer lined in cheesecloth or paper towels. You can also strain the stock with a nut milk bag (linked above).
- Pour stock into jars and let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour.
- You can pressure can the stock or freeze it. If you're freezing the stock, let it cool completely in the fridge before freezing. This will help prevent jars from cracking.
- Stock will also last up to a week in the fridge.
- If using whole pheasant, use 2 pheasants. Remove breast meat after 30 minutes of cooking or until breast meat is cooked through.
- If using breasts and legs, use 4-6 legs and 4-6 breasts. Remove breast meat after 30 minutes of cooking or until breast meat is cooked through.
- Mushroom stems are optional but they add a lot of umami flavor to stocks and broths. Next time you're cooking with mushrooms, remove the stems and store them in the freezer for future batches of stock.
- You can use vegetable scraps instead of whole vegetables for making stock. Keep a large zippered bag in the freezer and add vegetable scraps to it over time. Once it's full, you're ready to make stock!
- Nut milk bags are a great option for straining stock because they strain more quickly than paper towels but are just as effective at removing small grainy particles. They are also reusable so they can help reduce waste!