Ring-necked pheasants are a popular game bird—not only for the challenge of the hunt, but also for the way they grace a table. This introduced game bird has an incredible depth of flavour derived from their diverse diet of grains, wild forbs, and seeds, which create succulent white flesh (when cooked properly!).
If you’re able, stockpile some birds for a unique batch of sausage. Pluck the birds whenever possible, as skin and fat add more flavour and moisture. Pheasant is lean and can dry out quickly, so adding regular ground pork to the sausage mix also provides moisture while still highlighting the bird. Most of all, pork ensures the sausage doesn’t crumble after being cooked.
Cranberries and white wine are a great substitute instead of blueberries and orange juice—don’t be afraid to customize the taste to personal or family preferences. While pheasants are beautiful birds to work (larger than most prairie grouse or Hungarian partridge), combining a variety of birds can provide a unique taste of your favourite hunting area.
*Rubbed herbs (generally labelled on packaging) are dried herbs that have been processed to mimic the texture you would get by rubbing the whole dried leaves between your fingers until they crumble.