Buffalo Pheasant Dip Stuffed French Bread
By Jeff Benda
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Feast your eyes on this mouthwatering Buffalo Pheasant Dip Stuffed French Bread! Set it out for your Superbowl party and watch everyone dive into the delicious combo of spicy, gooey cheese, and warm, crusty bread that’ll have everyone coming back for seconds. You should plan to make two!
When it comes to game day food, I prefer to serve a wide assortment of grab-and-go snacks for all the eager football fans who want to spend their time visiting with friends and family and cheering on their favorite team. Some of our wild game favorites are Venison Totchos (Tater Tot Nachos) and Goose Pastrami Egg Rolls. You can’t go wrong with the combination of these easy-to-make recipes served alongside the Buffalo Pheasant Dip Stuffed French Bread. You’ll have all the major food groups represented – big game, waterfowl, and upland game!
I left the highway and turned onto the gravel road that led into the Little Missouri National Grasslands of western North Dakota. With over 1,000,000 acres this slice of heaven is the largest grassland in the United States. It’s a mix of long and short grass reminiscent of what you’d see in an episode of Little House on the Prairie, dotted with the rugged terrain of the Badlands that drew Theodore Roosevelt here back in 1883.
After a few miles of four-wheeling along the rugged path that hadn’t been touched by a plow blade, I paused to relish in the landscape teeming with mule deer on the horizon. But as the snow got deeper, so did my concern of being swallowed up by the sea of white that lay before me.
I decided not to push my luck and gently pulled over into the only approach I had seen since leaving the pavement. As soon as I stepped out of my pickup, I looked westward to see the dark clouds quickly eating the wide-open blue sky. The biting cold of January was brutal, but the thought of not having to worry about rattlesnakes on this trip was a warm relief.
My black lab, Grace, died a few years ago, so I began the long and difficult pursuit of upland birds without a flushing dog. With every step, the deep white drifts came up above my gaiters, and it took all the willpower I could summon within to keep my composure and press on across the barren land.
Without warning, two roosters exploded from their hideout among a lonely tuft of tall grass and became airborne. Inside the thick winter gloves, my fingers clenched the shotgun as I swung the muzzle in the direction of the birds. My eyes looked down the barrel and rested on the head of the far-right rooster. I pulled the trigger to release a shower of BBs along with my desire for victory. I was flabbergasted when both birds plummeted to the snowy earth and lay still. I quickly looked around to see that the only witnesses to my amazing feat were the stunning sun dogs sparkling in the now crystal clear, wintry sky.
I swept up the ringnecks and tucked them both into my orange vest and turned back for the long hike back to the truck. The bitter wind and my burning calves convinced me to call it a day. I had enough meat for supper, and a true tall tale as deep as the snowpack of North Dakota.
- 2 4-ounce pheasant breasts, boneless and skinless
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 pound loaf French bread
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup Frank’s RedHot Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup Blue cheese crumbles
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Tenderize each pheasant breast on a cutting board using a Jaccard meat tenderizer.
- Using a cast iron skillet, get olive oil and butter hot over medium heat, and sauté pheasant breasts for 3 minutes on one side, and about 2 minutes on the other side until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F using an instant-read meat thermometer. Transfer the pheasant to a plate, loosely tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Using a serrated knife, cut a long rectangle through the top of the French bread loaf and partially unstuff the loaf.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, hot sauce, and seasonings until well combined.
- Stir in the blue cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese.
- Layer the bottom of the French bread with the Buffalo Pheasant Dip and top with remaining 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
- Let bread sit for about 5 minutes to cool slightly before slicing. Serve warm.