Reviving less pristine birds into a dish fit for family and friends.
After brining overnight, dice pheasant breasts into half inch cubes
Pre-cook strips of bacon - you want to stop prior to crispy stage. Let it cool and then chop into small pieces.
In a bowl combine the diced pheasant, bacon, half of the green onions and half the Panko with the mayonnaise. You're looking for a texture like tuna salad, depending on the moisture level of your birds you may need to adjust the mixture with more/less bread crumb or mayo.
Add a dash of salt and pepper, then form the mixture into patties.
Press those patties into the remaining half of the Panko to cover both sides.
Add just enough oil to cover the bottom of a cast iron skillet. We're not shooting for super-high temps, so olive, peanut or vegetable oil should work just fine, possibly even butter .....
Place over medium heat.
Once the oil is heated, place your pheasant cakes in the skillet. The trick here is to not fuss with them. There isn't much filler or binder in these cakes, so you're going for a single flip of each. Otherwise, you risk them falling apart.
Allow the crust to form, 4-5 minutes per side.
The small cubes of meat along with the high moisture content let these cook quickly.
Garnish with the remaining diced green onion.
If you have more birds, it's easy to adjust quantities. One strip of bacon per breast.
The crisp outsides of these pheasant cakes add a great texture note.
We tried a couple of options for serving.
Simple and lighter: place cakes on a bed of green with a couple slices of avocado and a squeeze of lemon.
Seasonal and decadent: place cakes on wild rice and smother in morel cream sauce (recipe below).