I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is gearing up for the new year! We had lots of relaxing and good family time which is just what we needed. Now we’re back in Montrose ready to celebrate the new year! I wanted to share this alfredo pizza recipe with you. It’s super simple to make and we used pheasant that my husband’s dad gave to us! I will admit, I had no idea how to cook pheasant. But with a little research and experimenting, I came up with a pretty easy and foolproof method that anyone can implement to get the perfect, tender cooked pheasant. Of course, you can also use chicken for your alfredo pizza. But pheasant has a very similar taste and is surprisingly healthier than chicken! Read on if you’re interested in how to cook pheasant in the Instant Pot.
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. This means I may earn a commission should you choose to make a purchase using my link. It’s okay – I love all of these companies anyways, and you will too!
How to Cook Pheasant – Prepping the Meat
Pheasant is very similar to chicken but is much less tender because these birds produce more muscle than a chicken or turkey. I have never hunted for pheasant and never will! It’s just not my jam, you know? My husband, however, is very much into hunting and so I figured I had better learn how to cook pheasant meat. He did not hunt for pheasant this year but plans to in the future!
The pheasant meat (I used whole pheasants) that we got from my husband’s dad was farm raised and hunted on private land. So, according to my husband, it was probably more tender and less gamey than wild pheasant. If you ever have pheasant (or any bird) that was hunted, I’d recommend REALLY checking the meat for any residual shotgun pellets. But pheasant can also be purchased at stores like Whole Foods, so you won’t have to worry if you go that route!
Alright, here are my tips for prepping the pheasant before cooking (this is assuming the bird has already been cleaned):
- Rinse the pheasant under cold water to remove any remaining feathers. There will be a few, even if the bird was cleaned well.
- Inspect the pheasant for any dark or hard spots. These would be those residual shotgun pellets that I was telling you about. I used kitchen scissors to easily cut out and remove the pellets.
- Soak the bird in a tub/sink of ice cold water for 30 minutes. This helps remove any remaining blood.
- If you want to learn more about preparing a wild pheasant for cooking, check out this article!
Onto the Next Step! Cooking the Pheasant in the Instant Pot
Alright this is super simple, I promise! Here’s why I chose to cook the pheasant in the Instant Pot:
- It’s quick and easy.
- It keeps the meat very moist and tender.
- You can easily shred the meat. This method also allows you to be 100% sure you have removed all feathers and residual shotgun pellets. Making shredded pheasant is perfect for those who are cooking pheasant for the first time!
And now here are the basic steps for how to cook pheasant in the Instant Pot!
- Turn on your Instant Pot using the “Saute” button. Once heated, sear the meat on both sides until slightly browned. This keeps it nice and juicy!
- Once the meat is seared turn off the Instant Pot. Add in 2 cups of chicken stock (or water or whatever liquid you prefer).
- Close the lid and set the instant pot to “Pressure Cook” on high for 16 minutes.
- Once finished, let the pressure decompress on it’s own. Or, you can do it manually, but PLEASE don’t burn yourself with the steam!
- Let the pheasant cool on a plate for a bit before shredding. You can use two forks, or use these super handy meat shredders from OXO – I really like these for quick shredding!
I cooked two full pheasants using this method. You will need to adjust the cooking time and liquid amount depending on how much meat you will be cooking. All measurements are in the recipe below so that you can easily convert based on the amount of meat you have!
How to Make Pheasant Alfredo Pizza
I really liked how the shredded pheasant turned out and cooking it this way makes it so versatile to use in multiple recipes! You can freeze it, add to a salad, add to a soup or, in my case, add to an alfredo pizza!
Ok. If you’ve stuck with me this long, congrats! You are now going to be rewarded with a recipe for the best homemade alfredo pizza. It’s super simple to make and would be a great New Year’s Eve dinner! If you have any questions regarding how to cook pheasant, send me a message in the comments below or email me! Understanding the best way to cook pheasant and other game can be a bit confusing but I promise, YOU CAN DO IT! If I can, then you certainly will be able to. Now, on to the Pheasant Alfredo Pizza recipe – Enjoy!
Pheasant and Bacon Alfredo Pizza
For the Shredded Pheasant
- 2 whole, cleaned pheasants
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups chicken stock
For the Alfredo Sauce
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Pizza
- 1 lb store bought or homemade pizza dough (I used store bought)
- 4 strips thick cut bacon, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups shredded pheasant or shredded chicken
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded spinach
For the Shredded Pheasant
- Clean the pheasant. Be sure to rinse off any remaining feathers and inspect each bird for residual shotgun pellets. Use kitchen scissors to remove any pellets that you find.
- Once the birds are clean, soak in a tub or sink full of ice cold water for 30 minutes to remove any remaining blood.
- Once the pheasants have been cleaned and soaked, add 1 tblsp. of olive oil to the Instant Pot and preheat on the "Saute" setting. Once heated, add the pheasants and brown on each side (about 3 minutes on each side).
- Turn off your Instant Pot and add the chicken stock. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and set to "Pressure Cook" on the high setting for 16 minutes.
- Once the pheasants are done cooking, allow the pressure from the Instant Pot to release on it's own or release manually. If you do this, be sure to use an oven mitt or something protective so you don't burn yourself!
- Transfer cooked pheasants to a plate and let cool. Once cooled, shred the meat up using two forks or meat shredders. Link to my favorite meat shredding tool below!
- Discard any bones. You will need 1 1/2 cups of shredded pheasant for this pizza. There will be leftovers, so feel free to store in the freezer for another pizza, salad, or soup!
For the Alfredo Sauce
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. You will need to swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter browns a little bit. Once the butter begins to brown slightly, add in the chopped garlic and saute for 30 seconds, or until fragrant
- Immediately reduce heat to low and slowly whisk in the heavy cream. Whisk until combined, but not boiling.
- Sprinkle in the Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until cheese is completely melted and sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside
For the Pizza
- Preheat oven to 425°F (if you have store bought pizza dough, follow the instructions on the label for cooking time and temperature).
- In a large frying pan, cook the bacon strips until crispy. Remove from pan and place on a plate with paper towels to drain and cool. Once cooled, crumble the bacon into small pieces.
- Place pizza dough on a piece of parchment paper lightly sprayed with oil, and spread the pizza dough into a 12 inch circle. Using the sides of the parchment paper, lift the pizza dough and place into the dutch oven (you will place the parchment paper and pizza dough together in the dutch oven).
- Spread half of the alfredo sauce evenly onto the pizza dough. Toss the shredded pheasant with the remaining sauce and top the pizza with the pheasant meat.
- Sprinkle mozzarella cheese, shredded spinach and bacon crumbles on the top of the pizza.
- Bake the pizza for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the crust begins to brown. Remove from oven and cool in dutch oven for 10 minutes. Lift the pizza out of the dutch oven using the edges of the parchment paper. Slice and serve!