I've tried pheasant a number of ways in the past. All involved a lot of baking, special ingredients, etc. and left much to be desired.
I decided to try smoking to see how it stacked up. Best yet.
Brined the birds, leg sections and breast sectcions skinned and butterflied in a pickling brine.
1 gallon water
1/2 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup distilled vinegar
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Soaked 4 hours in the brine, put in the smoker at 215 towards the end of a run with a couple of pork shoulders. Might as well take advantage of the grill space. Guessed at 1 hour 45 minutes since chickens take about 2 hours in my side box unit. Split oak with natural hardwood charcoal mix was used.
Here is the finished product just before coming off arrayed around the shoulders. A glaze of half honey, half balsamic vinegar was used at the start and an hour later.
The birds were tender and succulent, not at all dry and tough like other recipes. I sliced the meat in thin strips and served as a lunch entree for 8 with cheese, crackers and a nice white wine. Raves all around. Enjoy!