Making a BBQ pheasant and gouda pizza was never on my bucket list, but when the inspiration strikes, you have to go with it. The idea came from a hosted visit to the MacFarlane Pheasant Farm in Janesville, Wisconsin where I learned more than I ever thought there was to know about pheasants, including the fact the tiny little bird is a delicacy.
The farm began in 1929, and it has since grown into the largest pheasant farm on the continent. I visited near season’s end, so only 30% of the birds were still on the farm. Even so, it seemed as if the plucky little birds were everywhere.
The little glasses they wear are called peepers and they serve as blinders to help cut down on aggressiveness and cannibalism. Pheasants might look innocent, but they are meanies. They tend to peck at each other’s tails, and since the tail feathers are a hunter’s trophy, it’s essential to keep those intact.
The white ringnecks (which are used for food because they don’t taste gamey) are especially aggressive, and most of them are in open free roaming barns with dim light to keep them calmer.
The farm is divided into three components: food, eggs/chicks, and adult birds. The young birds stay in barns until they’re about 6 weeks old, and when they’re moved outside the weather has to be perfect for 3-5 days to help them make that transition safely. When they reach 20 or 22 weeks, they’re considered adults.
MacFarlane is also the only farm in North America to raise the highly coveted Hungarian partridge (the variety specifically requested by Michael Keaton). In that breed, females are more aggressive than males, and the super tiny ring-like peepers they wear are called bits.
The majority of mature birds are sent for stocking or to hunting clubs where they’ve been hunted by the likes of Queen Elizabeth! MacFarlane Farms crates and hand-delivers all of its birds to guarantee quality.
People request particular game bird varieties, the most popular being the ringneck, but some are smaller and quicker and some are heartier and can withstand temperature changes.
Another huge percentage of birds are sent offsite to be processed for use in restaurants, gift packs and mail-order. That’s where mine came from for the BBQ pheasant and gouda pizza.
About that pizza… I became fascinated with the idea of trying pheasant, so I finally broke down this month and ordered a smoked pheasant from MacFarlane Pheasant Farms. I decided to recreate their website recipe for BBQ pheasant and gouda pizza.
BBQ Pheasant and Gouda Pizza
Guess what? I was “pheasantly” surprised (that one was for you, Mike) by how much I liked it! It reminded me of chicken or turkey in its appearance and texture, but the taste of the smoked pheasant was very much like ham.
And it all began like this. Looks like smoked chicken, yes? But pheasant is lower in cholesterol and fat and higher in protein than chicken. It’s not oily like duck either. MacFarlane Farms likes to call it the other, other white meat.
To make the pizza, I chopped the pheasant breast into small chunks, then shredded some gouda cheese. Yum!
Then I spooned a spicy BBQ sauce over a pre-made crust and sprinkled on the cheese, pheasant, pepperoncini peppers, red onion and fresh cilantro.
Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
If you love quirky attractions, take a trip to MacFarlane Pheasants in Janesville, Wisconsin. Another really interesting place I visited there is the Milton House Museum — a hexagonal stagecoach inn. Reach out to Janesville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for help in planning a trip!
BBQ Pheasant and Gouda Pizza
Try this smoky BBQ pheasant and gouda pizza for a taste of the other, other white meat.
- 1 12 inch pre-baked pizza crust
- 1 cup spicy barbeque sauce
- 2 cups skinless boneless Pheasant breast (cooked and cubed*)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 cup sliced pepperoncini peppers
- 1 cup chopped red onion
- 2 cup shredded Smokey Gouda Cheese*
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Place pizza crust on a medium baking sheet. Spread the crust with barbeque sauce. Top with Pheasant, cilantro, pepperoncini peppers, onion, and cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
- You can substitute Smoked Pheasant for regular pheasant and then switch over to traditional Gouda cheese.
Comments & Reviews
Robin rue says
We have a wild pheasant that roams around our neighborhood. Now I know what to do with him 😉
Stacie @ Divine Lifestyle says
That is the fanciest pizza I think I’ve ever seen! I absolutely adore pheasant, but I have never thought of putting it on pizza before! Yummo!
Bill Sweeney says
That sounds amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever seen pheasant used like this before. I’ve only ever seen it on a plate in a dimly lit restaurant. Awesome.
Colleen Lanin says
Oh my gosh, that looks so good! Pheasant is such a delicious bird, but I don’t think I could ever farm them. I am a total carnivore, but I have to NEVER know the creature that I eat. LOL
Amber Myers says
I must admit, I’ve never tried pheasant before, but now I’m intrigued. This pizza looks fabulous and delicious so I’d happily try it out. I need to see if there’s a place around here where I can taste pheasant!
I have not ever tried pheasant. What an interesting idea on a pizza! I am always willing to try something new and this looks divine!
That pizza sounds amazing! I have never seen or eaten a Pheasant so I actually found this post really interesting!
hey sharonoox says
I’ve never tried any pheasant or game meat before but I’m curious to want to try it. This pizza looks so yummy. Wonder if it taste like chicken?
Neely Moldovan says
This is totally something my hsuband would love. I am a plain pizza girl through and through but he loves his a little more fun!
Tomi C says
I’ve never tried pheasant. I do love gouda though and I would be up to the challenge. I’ve mastered gouda and apple pizza so I think gouda paired with pheasant would be quite tasty.
Melissa Chapman says
I am vegetarian and don’t like killing animals but this is the country we live in. I would try and make that pizza minus pheasant and use some of those methods.
Pheasant is a wonderful meat to make and eat. Nice you found a farm that can supply you with the necessary meat. That pizza sound wonderful.
I grew up eating all sorts of birds as my family is a family of hunters. Hunting season was a BIG deal! you name it, I’ve tried it. We even raised quails once as a Science project – they are mean little buggers!
Sarah Bailey says
I don’t believe I have ever had pheasant, though I think there is a market stall that may sell it, perhaps I need to buy one and give this a try.
I’ve never had pheasant before, I’m so curious to see what it tastes like! And this gouda pizza looks like a great way to do it. Yum.
Mimi Green says
It sounds good and it looks good but the thought of eating pheasant is throwing me off. I’m not sure why because I certainly eat turkey and chicken with no issues.
I had no idea they were so mean.
This sounds like a really delicious pizza! I am willing to bet that the kids would even love this. What an interesting take on Pizza.
I’ve never had pheasant before – and I think this would have been a cool trip to be part of! The pizza sounds really good. I may need to try my hand at it soon!
Pam Wattenbarger says
I don’t think I have ever eaten pheasant. This pizza sounds good! I never thought that pheasant would taste somewhat like ham.
Nancy at Whispered Inspirations says
This sounds really good. I love this take on pizza. Who doesn’t love Gouda Cheese? YUMMY!
Elizabeth L says
Pizza is honestly a family favourite. I can say that I have never had a pizza quite like this I am totally going to have to try this one out asap.
I didn’t realize that pheasants were that aggressive. This pizza sure does look good. I will have to try it.
Shannon Gurnee says
I’ve never had pheasant before, but I love gouda and pizza. This sounds like an interesting combination.
This looks amazing! My dad would love this pizza.
Heather Johnson says
I would try any food that contained gouda! BBQ pheasant and gouda pizza sounds interesting but tasty. We had pheasant at Thanksgiving a few times with my grandparents.
Joanna @ Everyday Made Fresh says
I would totally try pheasant. Sounds like a tasty idea for a pizza. I usually don’t want to try weird things, like goat, for me that’s weird…Pheasant? Totally doable.
Miriam T. says
I had no idea pheasant were so mean! Just looking at another bird can piss them off… Goodness.
I’ve always wondered what it pheasant was like when it’s been cooked on a cooking show. I didn’t even realize that there were pheasant farms, although it makes sense. I can’t imagine all the cooks out there hunting for their own birds.
Very interesting read!
This sounds like it would be really interesting. I am all game for trying new foods!
Kelly Hutchinson says
I have never had pheasant, but this pizza sounds amazing. Anything with gouda is a treat in my book!
Claudia Krusch says
This would be a cool farm to see in person. I have never had a BBQ pheasant and gouda pizza before but it looks delicious.
AnnMarie John says
That pizza looks so satisfying and good! I love that it’s made with gouda, it’s one of my fave cheeses of all time! It’s definitely something that the whole family will enjoy as well since it’s pizza!
I’ve had pheasant before but never on pizza. This looks like a really tasty dish.
Carol Cassara says
This looks delightful! It’s not that difficult to put together either which is awesome. I’d love to give the recipe a try, I’m curious about the taste! I’m pretty sure it’s amazing!
That looks absolutely delicious! My uncle used to raise pheasants. They are beautiful birds!
What an innovative idea for pizza! I love gouda separate, why not on pizza with pheasant replacing chicken! Thanks for this delicious idea, and straight form the farm!
Amy Desrosiers says
My dad used to raise pheasants. I have never tried them, but that does sound like a flavorful pizza.
Wow, that is taking pizza to the next level! I definitely need to veer off of the standard pepperoni pizza and try your bbq pheasant and gouda pizza.
Lorelai @ Life With Lorelai says
I have never had pheasant, but I have to say, that pizza looks delicious! I would definitely give this a try. 🙂
Toni | Boulder Locavore says
That pizza looks SO good!! And this place looks fun to visit!
valmg @ Mom Knows It All says
I’ve never had pheasant, it’s pretty interesting that it tastes similar to ham. I have had ham on pizza and it’s good.
What an amazing flavorful pizza! I love the pepperoncini peppers those are my favs!
This pizza is awesome!! I wish I could visit this gorgeous place one day!
Carrie | The Lavender Hytta says
I’ve never had pheasant before but this pizza makes me definitely want to try it! It looks absolutely delicious! 🙂
Pheasants on pizza hmm never heard ot it, but it looks so good.
Oh, smoked pheasant sounds like my kind of bird if it tastes like ham. I bet it tastes heavenly on pizza paired with gouda – yummy!
Wow this looks really delicious! I would never think of that combo before!
What an elegant flavor combination! I need to try this myself. Looks like you had a great visit to the MacFarlane Pheasant Farm.
liz Cleland says
We have chickens but never had pheasant. How much do they compare?
We haven’t had pheasant before. I was just wondering how it tastes? I am sure most fowls have similar tastes and textures, but I really would love to have a chance to try pheasant meat. The pizza looks so delicious!
Kita Bryant says
I’e never had pheasant before. Doesn’t look much different from other birds we eat, I suppose! Interesting!
Janella Panchamsingh says
I have never had or heard of smoked pheasant it sort of looks like smoke turkey
Angela Ricardo Bethea says
This gouda pizza is really making me crave for a bite! I have never tried it before and it looks oh so yummy!
Marielle Altenor says
I’ve never had pheasant before! My mouth is watering just looking at this pizza.
Veronica Solomon says
I can’t say that I have ever had pheasant meat before, but this sure looks delicious
Rose Cottrill says
I always love visiting farms! This looks like a great place and love those pheasant. The pizza looks delicious!
YUM, this looks amazing. I haven’t had pheasant in years… I used to work the lunch booth during the pheasant hunt with my local church group as a kid, and sometimes the hunters would stop in and cook us up one of their catches to try-it was so good.
Betty Manousos says
i’ve never had pheasant before, but that pizza looks really delicious! i need to try it out asap!
have a lovely weekend! xoxo