Gamebird Gourmet // Pheasant Crunchwrap Supremes

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Sometimes you just need to mix it up and have some fun in the kitchen. What’s better than recreating a fast-food fan favorite in the comfort of your own home? Enter Crunchwrap Supremes. One of these handheld wonders checks all the boxes: messy, entertaining, another way to use pheasant meat, or any other gamebird… and everyone you serve one up to is going to have a great time mowing it down.

Oh, and napkins and your favorite hot sauce are a must. 

Crockpot dishes are a fantastic way to use up those last couple of birds in the freezer. The versatility of a crunchwrap is a definite upside, so there’s nothing wrong with substituting another wild game for the pheasant in the tinga (shredded meat in chili sauce). Other upland gamebirds, duck or goose, steak from elk or deer or other big game, and ground meat of any kind, all come to mind as fine substitutes for pheasant. 

Feeling a little adventurous? Pop those pheasants in the smoker before adding the meat to the crockpot for an added layer of flavor. 

Lunch, dinner or party time, crunchwraps have got you covered.
 

Recipe: Pheasant Crunchwrap Supremes

Serves 6
Cook Time: 3 Hours


Ingredients for the Pheasant Tinga

2 pheasants, breasts and leg quarters separated - or equal amount of other wild game
1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
½ cup wild game or chicken stock
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Ingredients for the crunchwraps
Pulled pheasant tinga
6 large burrito-size flour tortillas
6 crunchy tostadas
1 bag shredded cheese of choice
2 cups shredded lettuce of choice
1 can nacho cheese sauce
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 can refried beans
1 cup sour cream
Hot sauce of your choice
2 tablespoons canola oil

Method
  • Break the pheasants down into breast and quarters (leave legs and thighs attached). Purée all tinga ingredients smooth except for the sliced onion. Add the pheasant pieces and sliced onion to the crockpot. Pour the tinga mixture over the pheasant, lightly mix everything together and cook on high for 2-3 hours or until tender. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Shred the pheasant meat by hand and discard the bones. Mix the tinga sauce and shredded pheasant together and place in a sauté pan. Cook the tinga on medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken. Set aside to slightly cool. 
  • Prep your crunchwrap ingredients. Cut the vegetables and get everything opened and easily accessible to assemble the crunchwraps.
  • Assemble as follows. Heat the tortilla in the microwave for only 20 seconds so the tortilla doesn’t break when you fold it around the crunchwrap filling. Start by putting an even, thin layer of refried beans in the center, add a layer of pheasant tinga over the beans, drizzle some nacho cheese over the tinga, and finish with diced tomato and shredded lettuce. Now spread sour cream over the tostada and place the sour cream side down over the filling. Drizzle with more nacho cheese and add the shredded cheese. Fold the outside of the tortilla over the center creating folds as you go until completely sealed. Press down and set aside for the pan. 
  • In a medium-hot sauté pan or cast-iron skillet, add a little canola oil. With a paper towel wipe the pan of any excess oil and make sure the pan is coated. Place the folded side of the crunchwrap down in the pan. With slight pressure, press down on the crunchwrap so it comes in complete contact with the pan. Cook for 30 seconds or until the tortilla is fully sealed and crispy brown on the outside. Repeat on the other side. Serve immediately with your favorite hot sauce and accompaniments. 
Tip
Save the bodies of the pheasants after breaking them down to make a flavorful stock to add to soups, stews and braised meats.
 


Lukas Leaf is the lead chef at Modern Carnivore (modcarn.com) when he’s not hunting, fishing or working for Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters as executive director.

This story originally appeared in the 2021 Spring Issue of the Pheasants Forever Journal. If you enjoyed it and would like to the the first to read more great upland content like this, become a Pheasants Forever member today!