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Recipe: Pheasant Harvest Soup

Pheasant Harvest Soup ready to serve. Photo by Bob St.Pierre / Pheasants Forever

Pheasant Harvest Soup ready to serve. Photo by Bob St.Pierre / Pheasants Forever

I realize pheasant breasts are 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.  As I’ve written before, I enjoy spending my summer in the garden. Consequently, I find great pleasure in marrying early season roosters with late harvested garden veggies.

While I’m not skilled in making my own stock, this soup recipe is tasty and simple.


  • 2 sets of pheasant legs
  • ½ cup of wild rice
  • 3 cups of sliced carrots (I am a fan of planting multi-colored carrots in my garden)
  • 2 cups of diced potatoes
  • 2 sliced jalepenos
  • ½ cup of Petey’s original seasoning (substitute your favorite soup seasoning or boullion cubes)
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 1 cup of Brussels sprouts


1)      Start by slow boiling the pheasant legs in water for roughly 15 minutes / or slow cooking in a crock pot for an hour.

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

3)      Reduce the remaining broth to simmer.

4)      Cook wild rice for 45 minutes in broth on medium simmer.

5)      Add Petey’s spice to broth.

6)      Add carrots and potatoes to the broth after wild rice has cooked for 30 minutes.

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

8)      Add the pulled leg meat to the soup.

9)      Simmer the soup on low, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes as the flavors mix together.

10)  Dish the soup into bowls on top of fresh broccoli and Brussels sprouts.  This will ensure these green veggies stay crunchy and retain their color.

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.


The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever & Quail Forever’s Vice President of Marketing.  Follow Bob on Twitter @BobStPierre and listen to Bob and Billy Hildebrand every Saturday morning on FAN Outdoors radio on KFAN FM100.3.

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4 Responses to “Recipe: Pheasant Harvest Soup”

  1. Matt H. says:

    The soup I make is slightly different, but I also started saving my leg/thigh quarters a few years ago to make soup. Additionally, if you don’t shoot enough birds to make a pot of soup, save the hindquarters as you harvest them by keeping a Ziploc freezer bag in your freezer and adding them as you go. Before you know it you’ll have enough for a large pot of soup, which make great leftovers!

  2. Jim Brown says:

    I love the things that can be made with the dark meat from the legs and thighs or a rooster. My preference for separating the meat from the bones and many tendons is to dust them with seasoned flour, brown them briefly and then add them to a couple cups of white wine in a crock pot on high for about four hours. Remove them, allow to cool and the meat comes easily off the bone for a variety of dishes.

    In my opinion, the best reason for making use of the thighs and legs is that discarding them is simply wanton waste. The hunter who keeps only the breast is much like the one who shoots a deer for it backstraps and discards the rest.

    My approach was rewarded this fall on a trip to Montana. I was surprised that the 86 year old father for my friend spent so much effort and time leading me to his favorite coverst learned over a lifetime. When I mentioned this to my friend, he said: “The first thing my dad asked about you is what you do with the thighs and legs. When I told him you make good use of them, he said he would do all he can to help you. If you were one of these guys who doesn’t make full use of what you kill, you would have been on your own.”

  3. Jerome Jussaume says:

    I’m having pheasant-leg soup for lunch at work today. You can put almost anything into it and it will taste great. I adapted a Paula Deen recipe for chicken soup and substituted the leg meat from pheasants for the chicken. Egg noodles, quinoa, couscous, or pasta can be substituted for the rice. My soup for today will have small elbow macaroni in it. I have found that the leg meat, alone without the bones, yeilds almost as much in weight as the breasts. Shame on the hunters that discard them.

  4. Jim Brown says:

    Those same pieces of meat that can be removed so easily after simmering make for a great sandwich or in a sauce over noodles or rice as well. Most importantly, and as you say, shame on those who don’t make the most use possible of the game they kill.


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