Himself cooks Pheasant.

This week we had two minor outings, well me two and himself three.

One of our trips was to the wonderful Richmond Park, where you will find us at the crack of dawn for our daily walk. Any later, then the car park is full and the bikers ( cyclists) make crossing from the car park quite dangerous. The other outing also for a walk was to Kew Gardens, almost deserted, which gave us chance to wander through the kitchen gardens.

The outing that himself ventured on was an Urban Walk, where he happened upon a large police presence around a tunnel that had been dug by some people protesting the building of a railroad line. The chief protagonist, is someone by the nickname of Swampy a veteran protester and now there with his children. Interesting!

Himself said ” What am I going to cook this week?” For his once a week venture into the kitchen. Pheasant said I. Pheasant ? He repeated, And pray from where do we get a pheasant ? The freezer, said I.

And so it was that for our Sunday dinner we had Pheasant.

Once upon a time we had literally just a round the corner from us a restaurant called L’Autre Pied, this was the sister restaurant to Pied a Terre, on Charlotte Street, which in reality is a short walk away. Pied a Terre has a held a Michelin Star for the last twenty plus years and they are more than willing to share some of their recipes. This is how I happen to have their recipe for Pot Roasted Pheasant.

One has to take liberties with such recipes, after all it is not baking which requires much more adherence to quantities and timings and also now, if I don’t have some of the required ingredients I utilise what I have, and this is my Go To recipe for Pheasant.

For two people you will need:-

  • A pheasant ( they are often sold as a brace, ie in pairs)
  • 1/2 litre of cider, but we used Prosecco
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large or two small Cox apples, these have a nice flavour any apples will suffice except cooking apples
  • The white of 1 leek, we used baby leeks, cut into smallish chunks
  • 2 sticks celery cut into 2 cm bits
  • 2 shallots or one white onion cut into chunks
  • 150 grms lardons
  • 50 mls chicken stock ( a cube or powder will do)
  • 75 grms hard unsalted butter
  • 75 mls cream or crème fraiche

Preheat the oven to 160 C fan or 180 C non fan

  1. Season the bird with some salt and pepper
  2. Heat an ovenproof casserole and add half of the butter, fry the the lardons until golden and then add the pheasant. Seal on all sides until golden brown.
  3. Remove the bird and then add the vegetables, followed by the cider or wine and reduce until sticky.
  4. Add the stock and bring to the boil.
  5. Put the bird back into the pan, place in the hot oven and cook for about 30 mins.
  6. Remove the bird, cover with foil and leave to rest,
  7. Return the pan to the stove top, bring to the boil again and let the sauce reduce to about half,
  8. Add the remaking butter and cream.
  9. Carve the bird into two, plate and pour over the sauce.
  10. Garnish with parsley, or other herb.

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