I’d never cooked pheasant till last week when I bought one from Churchill Meats. Not knowing what to do with it, I consulted my very old copy of Elizabeth David’s French Provincial Cooking. Using inspiration from two different recipes, the following is the result. The pheasant was similar to chicken in some ways but more flavoursome with no fattiness and a little chewiness (in a good way). Anyway, try it and you’ll see. The pheasant seemed small but there was enough for Mike and me for dinner and for lunch the next day.
- Ingredients (for 2-3)
- 1 pheasant
- 4-5 rashers of bacon, cut into small pieces or a small piece of spec cut into cubes
- 30-40g of butter, plus 2-3 tbsps
- Large glass of brandy
- Large glass of chicken stock
- Large glass of white wine
- 3 cooking apples, peeled, cored, quartered, each quarter sliced in 3
- Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a lidded pot in which the pheasant will just fit (the pheasant won’t sit up like a chicken so you’ll be cooking it on each side). Add the bacon and cook for a minute or two.
Pat the pheasant dry with paper towels outside and in and season with salt and pepper. Fill the cavity with a selection of fresh herbs such as thyme, parsley and a bay leaf.
Put the pheasant in the pot and brown each side. Add the brandy and little it bubble for a minute. Add the chicken stock. Turn the heat down very low and put the lid on the pot.
In a small frying pan melt 2-3 tbsps butter and add the apple slices. Cook till nicely browned.
After 20 minutes turn the bird onto its other side. Cook for another 20 minutes and it should then be ready. Remove the pheasant, cover it to keep warm while you finish the sauce.
Add a glass of white wine to the juices in the pot. Bring to the boil and reduce by about half. When it ready gently mix in the apple slices.
Carve the pheasant and pour over the sauce.