As part of our Armed Forces Initiative we'll be featuring exclusive recipes inspired by military service throughout the year. These recipes have been developed by Justin Townsend, a BHA Field To Table contributor, editor-in-cheif of Harvesting Nature and a Deck Watch Officer in the United States Coast Guard. Our Armed Forces Initiative strives to ensure that active duty and veteran military personnel continue selfless service and enjoy the camaraderie of likeminded individuals committed to the mission of protecting our public lands and waters, and who support the ethical fair chase of wildlife. Learn more, here.
Text and Photos by Justin Townsend
Today is the National Vietnam War Veterans Day, marking the day when the U.S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam, was disestablished on March 29, 1973. National Vietnam War Veterans Day is observed every year on March 29 and is a way to thank and honor our nation’s Vietnam veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. This special recipe was created with inspiration from a meal soldiers serving in Vietnam may have consumed while out in the field. The only difference is that our meal will be using wild game instead of the common Charlie Rations (C-Rations) of the Vietnam War era.
In 1966 the Tabasco company began printing and selling the “The Charlie Ration Cookbook, or No Food Is Too Good for the Man Up Front.” These mini cookbooks were wrapped around a bottle of Tabasco hot sauce and could be shipped to a person fighting overseas. The addition of Tabasco sauce to a C-Ration meal could help spice up the dish while adding some extra flavors to make the canned foods more palatable. The book contained several funny illustrations and recipes, including “Foxhole Dinner for Two” and “Ceasefire Casserole.”
One recipe titled, “Battlefield Fufu” or “Chicken with Peanut Butter Sauce” stood out to me. I instantly thought how delicious this recipe would be if prepared with some pheasant I had already roasted. Most of the C-Rations contained precooked meat, so it was perfect. I did modify the sauce ingredients to suit my liking, and the end result was delicious and quickly devoured. You could also use roasted wild pork, turkey or other white meat bird.
Roasted Pheasant With Peanut Sauce
- 3-4 cups of chunked or shredded cooked pheasant
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup of creamy peanut butter (sub sunflower butter)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp sriracha
- 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
- 3 tbsp water (more if needed to thin out)
- 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
- 2-3 cups of prepared white rice
- Thinly sliced green onions
- Combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, sriracha, water and teriyaki sauce well and set aside. Add water to thin out further if desired.
- Bring a large non-stick pan to medium heat on the stove. Melt the butter in the pan and add the garlic.
- Sauté the garlic for 1-2 minutes until aromatic, then add in the chunked, cooked pheasant meat. Allow the meat to crisp for 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in the peanut sauce. Continue to stir until all the sauce has coated the meat.
- Remove from heat and add the sauced meat to the rice and serve immediately.
- Garnish with thinly sliced green onions, minced basil or cilantro, sesame seeds and lime wedges. If you want more heat, then add more sriracha.