Feta and Spinach Grilled Pheasant Burger

I was new to pheasant hunting; I never had the opportunity and did not know where to start. Living in Johnson County, Kansas, you are limited when it comes to upland hunting. A friend of mine who I had met through our local Pheasants Forever chapter offered to take me to a nearby game reserve so I could finally try pheasant hunting. The sport is challenging but rewarding. Harvesting my first pheasant and watching the dogs work for the first time was a great experience.

This recipe came to me because I knew I had heard of people using ground turkey. I was trying to think of a new and unique way to prepare my pheasant. When it is nice out, I grill as much as possible, so this is why I went with this recipe. I don’t do a lot of measuring. Everything is based on my pallet and how I enjoy flavors. I always grab a bottle of garlic and pepper from the store and end up using it on pretty much all of my cooking. This recipe is simple and can be made however you like!

Ingredients:

  • 4 large pheasant breasts (about 1 pound)
  • 5 ounces crumbled feta
  • 1½ cups chopped fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder - separated
  • 2 teaspoons salt - separated
  • 2 teaspoons ground pepper - separated
  • Optional toppings:
  • Brioche buns
  • Cucumber slices
  • Red onion slices
  • Green leaf lettuce, washed and dried
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

Directions:

  1. Remove pheasant breast from bone and wash thoroughly. Remove feathers and pellets from the meat. Trim any dangling fat that looks appetizing. Once cleaned, cut into smaller pieces so you can fit into your meat grinder. Grind up all meat into a bowl.
  2. Add all ingredients, minus the optional toppings and garlic powder, salt and pepper. Mix well and form into equal-sized patties.
  3. Preheat the grill to 450 degrees.
  4. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon each of salt, garlic powder and pepper on front and back of formed patties.
  5. Grill for 5 minutes on the first side of patties. When the burger has cooked it should lift from the grill grates easily. Flip burgers to cook on the other side for 3-5 minutes until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees in the center.
  6. Smear mayonnaise on the buns and layer your toppings.
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