What to do with Pheasant?

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What to do with Pheasant?

Postby Frank Deis » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:16 pm

This past weekend we visited my brother-in-law and his wife in Maryland. Larry is a hunter, and had gone on an expensive hunting trip to South Dakota for pheasant. He didn't get any of his own birds but they provided birds for all the hunters, and he wanted to see what I could do with it. What I had turned out to be 2 double breasts and 4 long thin legs. They hadn't included the carcass or wings, not much point really.

I followed the recipe in the URL below. Having cooked my way through Julia Child's "Mastering" books, I recognized it as similar to "suprèmes de volaille au blanc" which I made many times. Chicken breast with a mushroom cream sauce. Heavenly. What is different -- 1) the pheasant breasts are cleaned to "suprèmes" i.e. just meat no bone, but they are breaded with flour, egg, and buttermilk, which was nice. 2) the sauce instead of 1/4 cup of broth and 1/4 cup of wine has THREE CUPS of broth, and this really screwed things up for me because the breasts were ready and I was reducing, reducing, reducing, reducing for the better part of an HOUR. If you try this use Julia's proportions.

http://www.netplaces.com/wild-game/upla ... adeira.htm

Something that was a real success, from the same website, was a cranberry and golden raisin relish suggested as a side dish. I kept waiting for the last cranberries to pop, which never happened, so I kind of overcooked it, but the Grand Marnier, yum yum yum!!!

http://www.netplaces.com/wild-game/sauc ... relish.htm

We also found a mix of wild and brown rice which made a tasty and substantial starch dish. I made the pheasant legs into a really nice clear broth to cook the rice with. The flavor of the broth really COULD have been chicken, they are quite close, and the breasts had no "gamey" liver flavor like pigeon breast does.

SO -- I wonder what you guys would do with pheasant breast? I have been given 4 more packages, i.e. 4 double breasts meaning 8 singles.

My mother, in response to compliments for her cooking, would often say "Well, it isn't Pheasant Under Glass!" so naturally I am a little fascinated by Pheasant Under Glass, which in fact is not THAT different from what I did with the breasts in Maryland. The creamy sauce includes cognac, and the glass keeps the cognac aroma contained until the dish is revealed.

Also, as a sometime Persian cook, I like the sound of Pheasant Fessenjan, and that might be a great use for the legs...

Have you cooked pheasant? What did you do with it?
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Re: What to do with Pheasant?

Postby Jenise » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:59 pm

To my tastes, breast of pheasant is THE most heavenly poultry on the face of the earth. You are a lucky, lucky man. (But then you knew that, even before they gave you these birds. :) )

I've unfortunately only cooked it twice that I can recall. Well, no, make that three times: I once braised a whole pheasant in Holland and discovered firsthand, and quite expensively!, why one should divide, and treat differently, the dark meat and the light. It's something that if on a restaurant menu, I can't NOT order. But again unfortunately, I almost never see it. My favorite of those was at an Anchorage, Alaska, restaurant called Seven Glaciers, that you arrive at by cable car it's so high up and from whence one has a view, or used to, of that many fields of ice, where the breasts had been pounded a bit more uniform and flat, perfectly grilled and was served atop a delightful herbed spaetzle and drizzled with a dazzling cream sauce lightened with champagne. It was as harmonious as it was perfectly prepared. And it was so long ago that I wonder if the restaurant is still there, and still as ambitious as it was then. I believe they lost the brilliant young chefs (a husband and wife team) who opened it, before very long.

Anyway, at home I've cleaved toward a similar treatment, sans recipe, because that dish was so brilliant. An indoor grill or good grill pan would be a must, though.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What to do with Pheasant?

Postby Jeff Grossman/NYC » Wed Jul 11, 2012 10:45 pm

Frank and Jenise: Rather than a mushroom cream sauce, what would you think of an apple cream sauce? (Slice and sautee a dessert apple first, then add to cream and maybe a shot of calvados.)
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Re: What to do with Pheasant?

Postby Carl Eppig » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:16 pm

The guy we bought our Brittany from in Hawaii thirty seven years ago smoked the dark parts. They turned out reddish and were delicious. The dog died twenty two years ago.
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Re: What to do with Pheasant?

Postby Jenise » Thu Jul 12, 2012 6:37 pm

Jeff Grossman/NYC wrote:Frank and Jenise: Rather than a mushroom cream sauce, what would you think of an apple cream sauce? (Slice and sautee a dessert apple first, then add to cream and maybe a shot of calvados.)


It would be terrific, Jeff.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: What to do with Pheasant?

Postby Frank Deis » Thu Jul 12, 2012 7:04 pm

I agree that fried apples match the taste of pheasant -- but the cranberry relish has an apple in it, and I think that is probably going to be enough.

I am currently reading a variety of recipes for Pheasant Under Glass. This is still pheasant breast with a cream sauce, but as Jenise says, the breast is cooked carefully to be sure it remains juicy. This is not easy because the breasts are quite thin, and pounding them makes them thinner. I have to give this some thought.

The conversation at Manresa ran to other good restaurants we had eaten at, and I remembered several times in France when the dishes were served "sous cloche." The "bells" were generally silver rather than glass, but the concept is that the fragrance of the dish is going to be something you will want to savor, so that when the waiters (I remember white gloves?) whisked off the cloches, you lean in and wave your hands toward your face to get the full impact. One specific dish I remember being served that way is a sweetbread dish. There isn't THAT much to taste with sweetbreads, so the sauce had better be killer stuff, and this was...

So with all that emphasis on the smell, the sauce will include Cognac, really interesting mushrooms (several recipes suggest reconstituted dried morels), and if possible, truffles. What I did in Maryland was certainly in this ballpark with reconstituted Porcini mixed with sauteed white mushroom slices, and a cream sauce made with port and broth.

We don't have glass cloches, but we do have Corningware casseroles, know what I mean? :) I think with 2 corningware casseroles with glass lids, we can serve the dish to 2 couples and get the "maximum smell experience."

corning.jpg
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Re: What to do with Pheasant?

Postby GeoCWeyer » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:03 pm

Owning with my son 2 pointing dogs we usually have a few pheasant in the freezer. Pheasant wild rice soup is my favorite. Especially with some good fresh wild mushrooms. I like it both as a broth soup and as a cream soup.
> Be sure to finish either with a little sherry.
>I assume of course you are using real wild wild rice not that cultivated paddy crap!
> braise the pheasant and use the scrape along with some nice veggies to make the stock.
> Add the braised pheasant meat the last 3-5 minutes of cooking. Then you can actually taste the flavor.
I love the life I live and live the life I love*, and as Mark Twain said, " Always do well it will gratify the few and astonish the rest".

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