Prep 30 mins
Cook 45 mins
- 1 whole pheasant
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- thin sheets pork fat or blanched sliced bacon
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3⁄4 cup slivered shallots or 3⁄4 cup green onion
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed juniper berries
- 2 bay leaves
- 2⁄3 cup good gin
- 1⁄4 cup dry sherry
- 3 cups rich game bird stock or 3 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons minced parsley
- 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
- 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, sear the bird until golden brown on all sides.
- Remove the pheasant and pour off the fat.
- Add the oil and shallots and saute until just beginning to color.
- Add the juniper, bay leaves, liquids and pheasant, cover the casserole and simmer for 35 to 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, and ladle with sauce and serve immediately.
I actually wrapped the pheasants in bacon and cooked the caserole in the oven. They came our exceedingly well.