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BackstoryA friend gave my husband a pheasant and to be honest, I didn't know what to do with it. So I did some searching and came up with this recipe, made a few changes and was pleasantly surprised. It was very good.
Pheasant has a tendency to dry out and this slow braise keeps it moist. You get a double shot of juniper berry in this recipe because it is the berry used to give gin its special flavor.
- 1 Whole Pheasant
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- Thin Sheets Of Pork Fat Or Blanched Sliced Bacon
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
- 3/4 Cup Slivered Shallots Or Green Onions
- 1/2 Teaspoon Crushed Juniper Berries
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2/3 Cup Good Gin
- 1/4 Cup Dry Sherry
- 3 Cups Rich Game Bird Or Chicken Stock
- 3 Tablespoons Minced Parsley
- 2 Tablespoons Butter (Optional)
- Freshly Ground Pepper
- Season the pheasant with salt and pepper and truss to help maintain its shape. Completely wrap the bird with the pork fat, tying with twine if necessary.
- In a heavy bottomed casserole, sauté the bird until golden brown on all sides. Remove the pheasant and pour off the fat. Add the oil and shallots and sauté until just beginning to color. Add the juniper, bay and liquids and cover the casserole and simmer for 35-45 minutes or until bird is tender (check at leg joint).
- Remove the pheasant to a serving platter, discard fat wrap and keep warm. Strain braising liquid, discarding solids and skim off fat. Reduce mixture quickly over high heat to a light sauce consistency. Off heat, whisk in the parsley and butter and season with salt and pepper.
- Carve pheasant into serving pieces. Pour sauce over and serve immediately with roasted young vegetables, if desired.