Holiday Recipe Ideas for Cooking Wild Game

This holiday season, why not replace your traditional holiday meal with a special dinner by cooking wild game that you caught this fall? Forget the frozen turkey and go for pheasant, duck, or venison to create a unique holiday meal. Take a look at three delicious recipes you can make for your family and friends this holiday season.

Pheasant in Mustard Sauce

Ingredients: (makes 2 servings)

  • 2 pheasant breast halves, boneless and skinless
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 whole garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • Steamed white, brown or wild rice

Directions

  1. Season pheasant with salt and pepper to taste. Using a large, non-stick skillet, brown pheasant in oil and butter on both sides over medium heat (takes about 6-8 minutes).
  2. Combine onion, garlic, chicken broth, lemon juice, dijon mustard and marjoram in a small bowl and mix well. Put mixture into a small skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and allow to simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until juices from pheasant are clear. Serve with mild rice or steamed vegetables that will pair well with the wild, tangy taste you get from cooking wild game.

Duck with Orange Hazelnut Stuffing

Ingredients: (makes 8 servings)

  • 2 domestic ducklings (4 to 5 pounds each)
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Stuffing:

  • 4 cups bread crumbs, soft and coarse
  • 2 cups tart apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Gravy:

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup orange marmalade

Directions:

  1. Before cooking wild game, prick skin several times and sprinkle the inside of ducks with salt to taste. In a large bowl, mix the stuffing ingredients together and spoon stuffing mixture into ducks.
  2. Using a large shallow roasting pan with a rack, place ducks with breast side up. Brush with butter. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Meat thermometer should read 180° for duck and 165° for stuffing. Remove the stuffing from ducks and keep warm.
  3. For gravy, combine salt, pepper and flour with 3 tablespoons pan drippings in a saucepan and stir until blended. While stirring, heat until bubbly, then add broth and bring liquid to a boil. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add marmalade and stir until smooth.
  4. Serve ducks with stuffing and choice of side dishes.

Venison Meatloaf Topped with Bacon

Ingredients: (makes 6 servings)

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups soft bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 pound ground venison
  • 1/2 pound bulk premium pork sausage roll
  • 4 bacon strips

Directions:

  1. Combine the first eight ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Crumble venison and sausage over mixture and mix all ingredients together. Shape mixture into a loaf and place in a greased 7-inch x 11-inch baking dish. Top loaf with bacon strips.
  2. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 40-45 minutes, or until a thermometer reads at least 160°. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before slicing. Serve hot with choice of vegetables.

Be prepared for your next holiday meal with our tips for Processing, Preserving and Cooking Wild Game.