Pheasant (or Duck or Chicken) Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce

DSC_0212It’s right before deer season and, for many hunters, it’s the time when we start running out of our coveted wild game. It’s a scary feeling when we have to head to the grocer for meat.  Luckily, in this household, we’re not to that point this year. Wild pigs, venison, and nilgai were plentiful.  However, Deerslayer has an all-time favorite dish that I often prepare with pheasant.  None to be found in the freezer this year, though. Luckily, chicken or duck can very easily be substituted for the pheasant in this versatile dish that’s perfect for leftover fowl, either baked, boiled, or roasted.
This is a recipe that I have continued to tweak over the years.  Deerslayer has always enjoyed “enchiladas verdes” (enchiladas with green sauce} so I’ve worked on this recipe until it was just right. The variations are many.  While different salsas can be used, some with a chile base, this one was made with a base of tomatillos, a type of green husk tomato from the nightshade family, originally from Mexico.  The fruit has a tart flavor that makes a nice accompaniment to the mild taste of the pheasant/duck/chicken. I hope you enjoy it as much as Deerslayer does.

Pheasant (Duck or Chicken) Enchiladas Verdes



About 8 cooked, chopped chicken thighs, boneless, skinless (It has to be dark meat.  It just tastes better. You can cook it with the skin on and eat the skin, if you like. You won’t need the skin for the recipe.)

Liberal amount of Tommy’s Salt & Pepper mix

One onion, thinly sliced

cooking oil, a splash

½ a bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped

2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided

about a dozen corn tortillas (Stale ones work better than fresh.  They don’t fall apart in the hot oil)

enough corn oil to fill the bottom of a deep cast iron skillet by about ¼ inch

Herdez (or comparable) Tomatillo or green chile sauce

The chilaquiles that we had in San Miguel were made with a green salsa, tomatillo, to be exact. The dish can also be made with salsa roja (red sauce).


Preheat oven to 350°.

Saute′ onion in a skillet. When it becomes browned, add chopped pheasant (or duck or chicken) to the skillet. Add salt & pepper mix to taste.
Allow to cool slightly.  Stir in ½ the cheese and the cilantro
Allow to cool slightly. Stir in ½ the cheese and the cilantro….
...until it looks like this.
…until it looks like this.
Meanwhile, heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a small skillet until the oil begins to shimmer. Carefully place a tortilla in the oil with some tongs for just a few seconds until the tortilla becomes limp and begs to be removed.
I usually heat all of my tortillas at once. This gives them a chance to cool enough to be handled.
Add a decent amount of the meat mixture along the center of a softened tortilla.
Roll the mixture up in the tortilla and place the enchilada, seam side down, in an oven-safe baking dish.



Cover enchiladas with tomatillo sauce and remaining shredded cheese. Try to completely cover the tortillas so that they don't become too crispy in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes until the sauce bubbles and cheese melts.
Cover enchiladas with tomatillo sauce and remaining shredded cheese. Try to completely cover the tortillas so that they don’t become too crispy in the oven. Bake for about 30 minutes until the sauce bubbles and cheese melts.


Garnish with sour cream or Greek yogurt and some cilantro. Serve with cilantro lime rice and guacamole.

3 Comments on “Pheasant (or Duck or Chicken) Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce

  1. I discovered yesterday that the big freezer came unplugged. Apparently some weeks ago. All the bear, venison, duck, and goose we had- gone. And let me tell you, cleaning that sucker out was no fun. We’ll be working hard to refill it once Matt gets home from California. Empty freezer is a sad thing. Pretty much no game meat left, but some bear lard and 2 ducks.

  2. I have to admit that my eyes welled up as I read your comment. That’s the worst thing that can happen in a hunting household! All your bear meat! I’m also embarrassed to admit that the thought of cleaning that freezer triggered my gag reflex. I’m sorry that there are no words I can offer that will console you and Matt.

  3. Pingback: Flan, Heaven on a Plate! | The Deerslayer's Wife

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