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If you've been intimidated by pheasant....

If you've been intimidated by pheasant . . .

For an elegant, intimate occasion, try a farm-raised pheasant. Check your supermarket's freezer section for frozen birds, usually sold whole. Some grocers or meat markets may stock fresh pheassants, whole or parts, or have them available on order.

Pheasant, a rather small bird, usually weighs about 2 1/2 pounds; one serves three generously. However, at $10 to $18 per bird, it is pricy compared to chicken.

Properly cooked, the white, lean meat is mild, moist, and tender. Overcooked meat turns tough, dry, and stringy. These three recipes enhance this delicate flavor and fine texture.

Two dishes use the whole pheasant: in one, you split, marinate, and grill it; in the other, you roast it, then serve with hot fruit. In the third, you pound breast meat thin, then saute and serve with green pistachio butter and red cranberry sauce.

Barbecued Butterflied Pheasant with White Teriyaki Sauce

1 pheasant, about 2 1/2 pounds

1/2 cup sake or dry white wine

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon Oriental sesame oil, optional

Salt and pepper

Watercress, optional

Gingered wild rice (recipe follows)

Rinse pheasant and pat dry. Reserve neck and giblets for other uses.

To butterfly pheasant, lay bird breast down on a cutting board. With poultry shears or a large, heavy knife and mallet, split pheasant lengthwise along backbone. Firmly pull bird open, cracking bones as needed to lay it as flat as possible.

Rinse bird and pat dry. With a small, sharp knife, pierce breast in 6 to 8 places. Put pheasant, breast down, in a 9- by 13-inch baking dish.

Mix together sake, vinegar, sugar, and ginger; pour over pheasant. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to overnight; turn pheasant at least twice.

On firegrate in a covered barbecue, ignite 60 charcoal briquets. When coals are coated with light gray ash (about 35 minutes), push half to each side of the grate; position grill 4 to 6 inches above.

Lift pheasant from marinade and place on center of grill, not over coals. Put on lid and open drafts. Turn bird every 10 minutes and baste generously with marinade. Cook until breast meat is white with a touch of pink at the breastbone, about 30 minutes. To test, make a cut to the bone parallel to the wing joint; meat should look moist, not soft and wet.

Transfer pheasant to platter; brush with seasme oil. Cut into serving pieces, add salt and pepper to taste, garnish with watercress. Serve with gingered rice. Makes 3 or 4 servings.--Joann Mass, Knightsen, Calif.

Gingered wild rice. Pour 3/4 cup wild rice into a fine strainer and rinse under running water. To a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan, add rice, 1 1/2 cups regular-strength chicken broth, and 1/2 cup sake or dry white wine. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to medium low, and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender to bite and absorbs liquid, about 50 minutes. Stir in 2 teaspoons slivered pickled ginger, drained. Serves 3 or 4.

Oven-roasted Pheasant

1 pheasant, about 2 1/2 pounds

1/2 cup regular-strength chicken broth

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 tablespoons orange marmalade

1/2 cup firmly packed dried apricots

2 tablespoons orange-flavor liqueur or water

1 1/2 to 2 cups seedless green grapes

Rinse pheasant and pat dry. Reserve neck and giblets for other uses. Arrange bird, breast down, on a rack in an 11- by 14-inch roasting pan.

In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart pan over high heat, boil broth, butter, and marmalade, uncovered, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Brush bird with some of this orange syrup.

Roast pheasant in a 450| oven. When back is golden brown, about 15 minutes, turn bird breast up. Baste again with syrup. Continue to bake until breast is brown and meat is white with a touch of pink at bone, about 15 minutes more. To test, make a cut to bone parallel to wing joint; meat should look moist, not soft and wet. While bird roasts, bring marmalade mixture to a boil over high heat; add apricots and orange liqueur. Simmer, covered, until apricots are soft and plump, about 10 minutes. Stir in grapes; heat until warm. Set roasted bird on a platter and top with apricot mixture. Carve bird and spoon fruit and syrup onto individual portions. Makes 3 or 4 servings.

Pheasant Breasts with Pistachio Butter and Cranberries

2 pheasant breast halves (about 6 oz. each), breastbone removed (may have wing joint attached)

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

Pistachio butter (recipe follows)

3/4 cup fresh or frozen cranberries

1 tablespoon sugar

Parsley, Italian or curly (optional)

Rinse breast halves and pat dry. If wing joints are attached, but them off and save. Pull off and discard all skin and fat from breast halves. Place meat between pieces of plastic wrap. With a flat-surfaced mallet, firmly pound meat until it is 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Sprinkle meat with pepper.

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat, melt butter. When butter sizzles, add meat and wing pieces and cook until breasts are lightly browned on both sides but still slightly pink in center (cut to test), about 4 minutes total. Place 1 breast half on each heated dinner plate; top each serving equally with pistachio butter; keep warm.

To pan with wing sections, add cranberries and sugar. Turn heat to low and stir often until berries just begin to pop, about 1 minute. Spoon cranberries equally onto breast pieces beside pistachio butter. To each plate, add a wing joint and garnish with parsley. Makes 2 servings.

Pistachio butter. Mince 1/4 cup roasted, salted pistachios. Mix well with 2 tablespoons softened butter or margarine, 1 tablespoon minced Italian or curly parsley, 1/4 teaspoon greated lime peel, and 1 teaspoon lime juice.

Photo: Grilled and butterflied pheasant, served with wild rice, plays up bird's delicate flavor
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Date:Dec 1, 1987
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