CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Southwestern Pheasant Soup

Undoubtedly, you’ve heard someone say “it tastes just like chicken” when they are describing some other kind of meat. Sometimes, it’s said in jest. But more often, people really mean it.
Pheasant fits into the latter category. And in my opinion, the game bird tastes just as good chicken, maybe even better. I ought to know, since pheasant has been a staple in our household for a long time.
I’ve baked pheasant, smoked pheasant, grilled pheasant, made stroganoff with pheasant, even come up for recipe for barbecued pheasant in pulled pork fashion. It was the barbecued recipe that I recently shared with a friend, Mike Sandry of Grand Forks.
While the baked — with wild rice dressing — and barbecued pheasant are my favorites, a bevy of pheasant soups aren’t far behind.
The following recipe rates near the top of my soup list. It was shared with me by Terry Young of Devils Lake, N.D., who usually brings it along on our annual pheasant hunting trip.
Having just returned from an adventure hunting pheasants in Nebraska, I have a pot of it simmering on the stove on this day of high winds and snow flurries.
And guess what? It’s as soothing — and tasty — as any chicken soup you can find.
Southwestern Pheasant Soup
2 49-ounce cans of Swanson’s Chicken Broth or 6 cups of homemade pheasant broth
1 1-pound bag of Alberto’s medium egg noodles
1 10-ounce can of Rotel Mexican Lime and Cilantro
½ cup salsa
1 14½-ounce can of cream of mushroom soup
1 pheasant (breasts and thighs)
6 cups water
Precook pheasant in water. Dice the cooked pheasant meat and brown it in light olive or vegetable oil. Heat broth until it nears boiling. Then add all the other ingredients. Cook on medium until the noodles are soft. Add more broth as needed.
Yield: Serves 4.
Note: Can substitute about 4 cups cubed cooked chicken for pheasant.

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