Looking for a simple treatment for the whole bird. Unsure whether roasting or braising is better and whether it's worthwhile to sear the skin beforehand.
Roasting is the best method. No need to sear the skin but baste it frequently. Stuff the cavity with something like cut up apples. Rub salt all over before roasting.
What temperature? I've seen everything from low and slow at 325 to blasting it at 500.
Your best bet for a game bird is about 350. There isn't a lot of difference between a roaster chicken and a Pheasant. Any recipe for a roasted will suffice. Not for a young bird, but for a stewing hen or older roasted and you will be fine.
Pheasants have a lot less fat than chickens, so you might like to cover the breast with bacon strips.
I second the suggestion to cover the breast with bacon. Otherwise, you may end up with a pitifully dry bird. You might also try doing pheasant confit. This method will not only result in painfully tender and delicious meat, but it will keep longer (if you have leftovers, that is). Simply follow a recipe for duck confit, but decrease the cooking time according to the size of the bird. Good luck!
This is all very helpful--thank you!!
I'd travel a long way for some of that pheasant confit.