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Pheasant Leg Soup

A ladle of pheasant leg soup will warm you all over on a cold winter’s day

I realize a pheasant breast is the “Holy Grail” of wild game succulence, but don’t overlook a rooster’s thighs and legs.  And for goodness sake, don’t just breast the bird and garbage the remainder.  Pheasant legs are certainly tougher to cook, but a rooster’s legs and thighs actually produce quite a lot of tasty dark meat when handled with care.


Perhaps the easiest way to put those pheasant legs to good use is in soup, which is exactly what I prepared last evening with my opening weekend’s rooster legs and the last of my garden’s produce.



  • 2 sets of pheasant legs
  • 3 cups of sliced carrots
  • 2 cups of sliced celery
  • 1 small tin of mushrooms
  • 1 small can of corn kernels
  • 1 small tin of sliced water chestnuts
  • 10 chicken bouillon cubes or chicken stock
  • Small box of your favorite noodles (shells, O’s, etc.)



1)      Start by slow boiling the pheasant legs in water for roughly 15 minutes.

2)      Remove the legs from the water and let cool.

3)      Reduce the remaining water to a low simmer.

4)      Cook noodles as instructed on the box in a separate pot.

5)      Add bouillon cubes and additional water to the remaining water from the boiled pheasant leg pan after the water has cooled a bit.

6)      Add carrots, celery, mushrooms, corn and water chestnuts to the pot of simmering water.

7)      After the pheasant legs have cooled, pick the meat off the bones being careful to remove any tendons from the lower leg meat.

8)      Add the pulled leg meat to the soup.

9)      Add the cooked noodles to the soup.

10)  Simmer the soup on low, stirring occasionally for about an hour.

11)  Serve with your favorite soup cracker.


This preparation is definitely not fancy, but it’s certainly not difficult.  And, I promise, you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll begin looking forward to saving the legs from future roosters.


Do you have a favorite pheasant leg recipe?  Send it my way!


The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre.

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11 Responses to “Pheasant Leg Soup”

  1. matthew says:

    We call this Phoodle in my house. Feel free to use this… just send me a dollar each time.

  2. Tyler says:

    You only boil the legs for 15 minutes and are able to pick the meat from the tendons and bones? It usually takes me hours before the meat is tender enough. Huh…

  3. Right on Bob! The thigh meat is great for any pheasant dish – especially soups – and boiling the legs also allows you to make a great stock as well. If you’re leaving the legs behind, you’re missing out on flavor!

  4. Sal Tirone says:

    No offense but why would you ruin pheasant soup with chicken stock. I have utilizing the whole bird for a long time. Not only do I use the legs I include the carcass and beat up parts. Just cook the meat separate from the veggies and run the broth through a strainer to get the feathers and broken bone fragments out.yes you do have to cook the stock for a couple of hours but end product is excellent and tasts better than chicken soup.

  5. @Sal Tirone,
    No offense taken. I’ve never created stock before. This sounds like an excellent improvement on my recipe.

  6. Sal Tirone says:

    One of my favorite recipes is to first pluck the birds if they are not beat up ( remove wings).I then remove the meat and skin in one piece. Like fileting a fish start on the back and work your way down. it goes pretty smooth after you have a little practice. (do 3 to 4 birds) make soup with the legs and carcasses. Make a stuffing . I use finely chopped Mushrooms onion apples salt and pepper suatee in butter for a while add a lttle white wine add some unseasoned breadcrumbs place in a bowland some crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese and mix. stuff the bonelss /skin on breasts and either tie or use toothpicks to hold the birds together. brown the stuffed birds in butter in a cast iron frying pan add a good cup of white wine and place the entire pan with the birds inbt a preheated oven 375 for about 20 minutes. use pan drippings for gravy.

  7. Rob Stiehl says:

    I think some of the best “pheasant” flavor comes from the dark meat of the bird. I use the legs and thighs almost exclusively for a white pheasant chili that I make a couple of times a season. I have found that putting the leg and thigh sections of 2 dressed birds in a crock pot on low for 4-6 hours leaves the meat tender, juicy and falling off the bone (perfect for soups, enchiladas and casseroles). If you plan on making a soup, just add a few carrots, onion, celery and a bay leaf to pot and you will have a great stock as well!

  8. Paul says:

    Hey Sal T. What kind of white wine do you use?
    All these sound good. You guys are making me hungry already and the season doesn’t open here until 11-10.

  9. Mike says:

    For years I have used the legs, thighs, and backs to first make stock and then make soup from the meat. I freeze the stock in 2 cup batches to use anytime chicken broth is called for. Often times my dark meat goes into a New England Pheasant chowder concoction. Basically New England Clam chowder but with pheasant meat instead of crab. One other variation is to shred that cooked dark meat and sautee it with some bacon, mushrooms, and jalepenos and add it to Queso for a wonderful dip.

  10. Mike says:

    meant: instead of clam.

  11. Sal Tirone says:

    sorry I did not respond sooner I was too busy pheasent hunting . Any dry white wine will work.


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