VenisonWild Recipes

Buffalo Pheasant Wonton Cups

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If you’re wondering how to transform that pheasant in your freezer into a bite-sized appetizer for
your next football party or potluck, you’ve found the right recipe.

Buffalo Chicken Dip is one of those sinfully spicy and mouthwatering appetizers that lures me in
when I spot it perched on a table full of the usual chips and salsa, grape jelly meatballs, and
veggie trays. I’ll hover over it and pray no one notices that I’m hogging it all. So I just had to try
and recreate one of my favorite football foods with a ring-necked pheasant.

I used Burman’s Hot Sauce for this particular rendition of the dish just because it happened to be
available at ALDI that week. But feel free to use your favorite hot sauce or wing sauce to make it
your own. My absolute favorite version was when I used Buffalo Wild Wing’s Spicy Garlic
Sauce. It was magically delicious! But I have to warn you that afterwards my wife refused to
come anywhere near me for two days!!

North Dakota has some of the best pheasant hunting in the United States. With plenty of public
land hunting opportunities, including PLOTS (Private Land Open To Sportsmen), pheasant
hunters have access to some of the most amazing places to chase these long-tailed birds.
My favorite kind of pheasant is the one that holds tight in a small patch of grass on public land,
hearing truck doors slam, and watching hunter after hunter walk by. Even with the intense
pressure, the gunwise rooster refuses to budge. It’s not until he hears the crunch of my footstep
inches away from his red face that he loses his nerve and finally flushes.

My only concern at that point is that the damn bird doesn’t scare the piss out of me. It’s in this
moment when I have to try and stifle my urge to blast away in self-defense at the squawking
creature that just exploded out of the earth.

A good pheasant hunter learns to take a second to comprehend the pheasant’s flight pattern,
swing the gun and aim at the white patch on its neck, and then shoot. If you’re patient and find
success in downing a bird, you can showcase your hunting prowess when you show up on game
day with these cheesy, spicy, and crispy hors d’oeuvres.

Makes: 48 wonton cups
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

Looking for more wild appetizers? Why not try this delicious venison queso dip?

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Buffalo Pheasant Wonton Cups

Recipe by Jeff Benda
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Course: Venison, Wild Recipes


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  • 2 4-ounce pheasant breasts, boneless and skinless

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 14 -ounce package wonton wrappers

  • 1/4 cup cayenne pepper hot sauce or wing sauce

  • 8 ounces cream cheese

  • 1/3 cup sour cream

  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning

  • 1/2 cup Blue cheese crumbles

  • 2 green onions, diced

  • 1 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large skillet, get olive oil and butter hot over medium-high heat and sauté pheasant breasts for 3 minutes on one side and about 3 minutes on the other. Try not to overcook them! You want them at an internal temperature of about 155 degrees F.
  • Remove the cooked pheasant breasts from the skillet and transfer to a plate. Tent them with aluminum foil and let rest for about 10 minutes. Then, using your fingers or two forks, shred the pheasant meat and set aside.
  • Spray 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
  • Gently press one wonton wrapper into each cup of the greased muffin pan. Bake for 8 minutes until lightly brown.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, stir together the shredded pheasant, hot sauce, cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, ranch seasoning, Blue cheese crumbles, and green onions until well combined.
  • Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the filling into each wonton cup, then sprinkle each with 1 teaspoon of shredded cheese.
  • Bake for another 8 minutes. Repeat the process with the remaining wonton wrappers and filling.
  • Serve with your favorite dipping sauce like ranch or blue cheese dressing.

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Jeff Benda

Cooking gives me a creative outlet to transform wild game and bring it into traditional recipes from around the world to help expand people's perceptions. My goal is to celebrate local fish and wild game and provide achievable, bright recipes designed to build confidence for new cooks, and inspire everyone to elevate their cooking. I hope that by sharing and celebrating the food I create with the fish and wild game I harvest, I can highlight the great contribution so many hunters and anglers have made to conservation in this country, and reflect the freedom we have to enjoy America's great outdoors.

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