Jenn's Pheasant Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

Pheasant & stock ingredients:

  • 1-2 Pheasants  (about  4-5 lbs total)
  • 3-4 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 3-4 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 onions quartered
  • 1 head of garlic (use whole cloves)
  • 25+ cilantro stems
  • 2-4 teaspoons salt
  • 2-4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
  • 1-2 teaspoons chipotle seasoning

Finishing the soup ingredients:

  • 2-3 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1-2 teaspoons ground chipotle
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • 2-3 Tablespoons chipotles in adobo
  • 1-2 Serrano peppers (seeded to your spice level)
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of adobo sauce
  • 1 Cup instant brown rice
  • 1 can (15-19oz) black beans, rinsed
  • 2 ½ teaspoons salt

Home Made Tortillas:

  • 20 (7-8 inch) corn tortillas
  • 6 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Salt

Serve soup with:

  • 2 large avocados
  • 2-3 limes cut into wedges
  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro


Preparation

Stock:

Add all ingredients to large stock pot.  Add enough cold water to cover pheasants.  Bring all stock ingredients to a boil and skim off any foam.

Reduce heat and gently simmer, uncovered, skimming foam occasionally.  Cook for 2-3 hours.

Remove pheasant meat and set aside for cooling.

The stock now needs to be filtered so that you have a relatively clear broth.  Pour the stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl or another clean pot.  I have used a strainer lined with multiple layers of cheese cloth.  If you have the time you can use lots of coffee filters and get a very clear broth.

Set aside 1 – 1 ½ cups of the broth.

Return the remainder of the broth to a clean pot set the burner to low to keep broth warm.

Finish the soup:

Toast the spices (except salt) in a dry small skillet (not nonstick) over medium-low heat, shaking skillet occasionally, until spices are fragrant and a shade darker, about 2 minutes.

Transfer spices to a blender along with onion, garlic, chipotles, adobo sauce, Serrano peppers, salt, and reserved stock/broth.

Blend until mixture is smooth and spices are ground, about 2 minutes. (Use caution when blending hot liquids)

Add purée to the stock/broth  along with rice and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Simmer, covered.

While the soup simmers, discard skin (if you didn’t use skinned birds), and bones from pheasant and cut or shred meat into bite-sized pieces.

When rice is tender, add pheasant and beans to soup and simmer, uncovered, until meat is just heated through, about 5 minutes.

Season soup with salt and pepper to taste.

Tortillas:

Preheat oven to 375°F with racks in upper and lower thirds.  Stack tortillas and cut into ¼ – ½ inch thick strips, then toss with oil.  Spread strips 1 layer deep on 2 large baking sheets and season with salt.

Bake, stirring frequently and switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until tortillas are a deep golden color and crisp, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve:

Serve with lime wedges, chopped cilantro, cubed skinless avocados, and tortilla strips.

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