Christmas Enchiladas with Grilled Pheasant

Christmas Enchiladas with Grilled Pheasant Recipe

Chef Tom fires up the Yoder Smokers YS640s Pellet Grill and prepares both red and green salsas for these Christmas Enchiladas with Grilled Pheasant.

Christmas Enchiladas with Grilled Pheasant Recipe

Yield: about 12 enchiladas


For the salsa rojo:

For the salsa verde:

  • 12 oz tomatillos, husks removed
  • 2 jalapeño peppers
  • 1/4 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro. chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • Noble Saltworks Hickory Smoked Salt, as needed

For the sour cream sauce:


Place the pheasant breasts in a zip-top bag with equal parts Sweetwater Spice Jalapeño Lime Fajita Bath and water. Let soak for 45 minutes.

To make the salsa rojo, preheat a Lodge 12” Cast Iron Skillet over medium-high heat. Add the dried chiles and cinnamon stick to the dry skillet and toast the chiles on both sides until tender and aromatic, about one minute. Add enough water to cover the chiles. Cover the skillet with a lid. Bring the water to a boil, then turn off the heat. Let the chiles soak in the hot water for 20 minutes.

While the chiles are soaking, prepare the salsa verde. Combine all ingredients for the salsa verde in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning with Noble Saltworks Hickory Smoked Salt, as needed. Set aside.

When the chiles for the salsa rojo are tender, remove them from the soaking liquid and transfer to the food processor or blender. Reserve 1 cup of the soaking liquid. Discard the cinnamon stick and remaining water.

Add to the skillet the spray duck fat. Add the onions and cook over medium heat until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Transfer the onions and garlic to the blender with the rehydrated chiles. Also add the Cattleman’s Grill Mexicano Taco Seasoning and allspice. Blend until smooth. Slowly add the reserved liquid until you reach your desired consistency. You will probably only need about 1 cup of the liquid.

Preheat your Yoder Smokers YS640s Pellet Grill to 500ºF, set up for direct grilling, with GrillGrates in place over the firebox.

After removing the pheasant from the fajita bath, season generously with the Cattleman’s Grill Mexicano Taco Seasoning. Grill the pheasant over direct heat, getting color and char on each side. Cook to an internal temperature of 155ºF. Remove from the grill. Chop into bite sized pieces.

Turn the grill down to 350ºF-375ºF, set up with the second shelf in place for indirect cooking.

To make the sour cream sauce, melt the butter in the clean Lodge 12” Cast Iron Skillet, over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over the melted butter. Whisk constantly until the roux just begins to brown and becomes aromatic (smells nutty). Slowly pour in the chicken stock, whisking constantly. When the sauce has thickened, whisk in the sour cream and 3/4 of the cheese. Reserve the rest of the cheese for topping the enchiladas.

Mix the grilled pheasant into the sour cream sauce. Scoop the mixture into a dozen small flour tortillas.

Pour a layer of salsa verde in the bottom of a Lodge 12” Cast Iron Skillet. Lay all twelve enchiladas over the salsa, in the skillet. Top half of the enchiladas with the salsa rojo and the other half with the salsa verde. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top of the enchiladas.

Place the skillet on the second shelf of the grill and close the lid. Cook until the cheese on top has melted, and the salsa is bubbling up through the enchiladas, about 60-75 minutes.

Serve the Christmas Enchiladas with Grilled Pheasant family style, topped with more salsa verde, salsa rojo, sour cream, minced cilantro and cotija cheese.


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