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Slow Cooker Pheasant Nachos, recipe by Stacy Lyn Harris from her Harvest Cookbook

Slow Cooker Pheasant Nachos

You can substitute chicken for the pheasant, but the pheasant's flavor is more delicate, yet deeper than that of chicken.
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Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican


  • 1/4 pound bacon (4 slices) cooked and crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
  • 6 pheasant breasts
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 large bag tortilla chips
  • 2 red or green jalapeños sliced
  • cheese sauce recipe below
  • guacamole recipe below
  • chives (about 1/4 cup) chopped
  • 4 ounces sour cream

For the cheese sauce

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup warm whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded

For the guacamole

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 1 jalapeño more or less to your taste
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 onion minced
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, cook bacon for about three minutes and turn over and cook for another two to three minutes, or until the bacon is brown. Remove to drain on a paper towel. When cool enough, crumble the bacon and set aside.
  • For the meat: Spread bacon grease over the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the onions and the garlic cloves in the slow cooker. In a medium bowl, add pheasant breasts, liquid smoke, salt, pepper, cumin, and chili powder and coat the pheasant with the seasoning. Place the pheasant and seasonings into the slow cooker and pour in the broth. Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for eight hours. Once the pheasant is tender, use two forks to shred the meat into the juices. If you want it crispy, use a slotted spoon and scoop the meat out of the juices into a hot cast iron skillet and leave still for two minutes and turn.

For the cheese sauce

  • Melt the butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the flour and whisk until the mixture is smooth and barely begins to bubble. Add the warm milk to the pan and cook over heat until it begins to boil then lower to a simmer while continuing to stir until it begins to thicken. Add the salt, cayenne, and mustard to the mixture and whisk until combined. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool for about five minutes. Add the cheese in handfuls, mixing in between each handful until well-incorporated and all the cheese has been added.

For the guacamole

  • Mix all ingredients in medium-sized bowl. Leave it a little chunky for better texture.

To plate

  • Sprinkle a layer of chips on a large platter. Add 1/2 of the cheese sauce, 1/2 of the guacamole, 1/2 of the crumbled bacon, and 1/2 of the chives and a few dollops of sour cream. Add another layer of chips and add the remaining ingredients in order, finishing with the chives.
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