Nashville Hot Pheasant Sandwich

By Sophie May

Growing up and attending college in the South, Nashville Hot Sandwiches are a staple. Please enjoy my wild game take on this Southern dish.

 

Ingredients 

  • 4 skinless pheasant breasts
  • Vegetable oil (enough for deep fryer or deep pan)

Spice Mixture

  • 5 tbsp cayenne
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp kosher salt

Marinade

Egg Mixture

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp hot sauce (I use Louisiana Hot Sauce with the red dot)
  • Leftover marinade mixture

Flour Mixture

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp spice mixture

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • Remaining seasoning

Toppings

Directions

If coleslaw* is desired, make prior to pheasant breasts so it can be marinating in the fridge.

Pat dry pheasant breasts and remove any remaining feathers. Place in a gallon Ziplock bag or bowl. Add marinade mixture to bag and toss breasts mixing evenly. Cover with Saran Wrap if using a bowl or tightly seal the bag and place in fridge to marinate 2-4 hours.

After breasts are done marinating, remove from refrigerator and place them in a bowl saving the marinade. Using a shallow bowl (like a pie dish), combine egg mixture carefully adding any excess marinade to the dish. Stir well. In another shallow bowl, combine flour mixture.

Heat oil to 300 degrees (I use a deep fryer, but if you have a frying thermometer, a cast iron or any heavy duty deep enough pan will work).

Take a pheasant breast, letting excess marinade drip back into bowl, toss in flour mixture until thoroughly coated. Next, carefully toss breast in egg mixture again allowing excess mixture to drip back into dish. Return back to flour mixture and coat evenly and place on rack/plate. Repeat process with each breast. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes to allow coating to dry a bit and set.

While resting, make the sauce. Place butter in a saucepan and heat until melted over medium-high heat. Whisk in remaining seasoning. Once thoroughly mixed remove from heat, but keep sauce warm as to not let it coagulate.

Fry each piece until golden, crispy, and fully cooked. This is approximately 3 minutes each side. Depending on size of fryer/pan, this may need to be done in rounds. When you flip the breasts, be careful to keep breading attached.

While breasts are cooking, spread butter on the insides of the Hawaiian buns. Toast Hawaiian buns in a pan over high heat until golden brown (1-2 minutes).

Mix mayo and hot sauce.

Once pheasant breasts are cooked, place on a plate or rack. Brush/toss with seasoned butter sauce mixture thoroughly. This is what gives the breasts the Nashville kick.

Assemble your sandwich with buns, breasts, coleslaw/iceberg lettuce, pickles, and Mayo mixture. Enjoy!

* This coleslaw recipe can be made in advance. This is the best coleslaw recipe I have found. It is creamy and balances the heat in the sandwich. I half it when making this sandwich recipe.