This is a baseline recipe for pheasant stock, or really stock from any light-meat animal. Turkey, quail, partridge, grouse, rabbit, etc. all work.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 6 quarts
- 6 pheasant carcasses, with hearts, gizzards, and drumsticks
- 3 tablespoons sunflower or other vegetable oil
- 1 pig's foot (optional)
- 1 large white or yellow onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 4 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 smashed garlic cloves
- Stalks from 1 bunch parsley, chopped
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon cracked peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon crushed juniper berries (optional)
- 1 tablespoon lovage leaves (optional)
- 1 handful dried mushrooms, any kind (optional)
Set all the pheasant bits in a large roasting pan and turn the oven to 400F. Coat the pheasant bits in the oil and salt well. Roast in the oven for 1 hour, or until deeply browned.
Get a large stockpot and add the pig's foot, if using. Fill it two-thirds of the way full with cold water. When the pheasant bits are browned, crush them up a bit and add to the stockpot. Pour some water into the roasting pan. Set the stockpot over medium heat.
After a few minutes, the water in the roasting pan will loosen all the brown bits stuck to it. Use a wooden spoon to scrape everything up and pour all this into the stockpot. Bring the stock to a bare simmer -- you want it to barely shimmy, not bubble strongly -- halfway cover it and let this steep for as long as you can take it. I often will go 12 hours. You need to go at least 4 hours.
When you are ready, stir in all the remaining ingredients and continue cooking gently for 90 minutes to 2 hours.
To strain, set a paper towel in a strainer. Set the strainer over a large bowl or other container. Turn the heat off the stock and ladle it through the strainer. Leave the last inch or so of stock at the bottom, as it will be full of sediment. If your birds were fatty, you might need to change the paper towel once or twice.
Taste the finished stock for salt and add it to taste. If you decide to reduce the stock further -- you can do so another few hours and it will set up like jello when cold -- do not add salt until you've taken the stock as far as you want it.
Use within a week in the fridge, a year in the freezer, or 2 years when pressure canned.