Friday, January 13, 2012

Book Sixty-Eight: All Around The World Cookbook

by Sheila Lukins

                 Roasted Pheasant with Prince Charles Sauce

I was fortunate to be the recipient of not only a few slices of homemade wild game terrine made from pheasant, duck and rabbit (before it was even presented to guests for Christmas!) but also a pheasant of my own!

This certainly brought back some childhood memories. My father was an avid hunter, fisherman, and taxidermist. If I recall correctly, my mother was not the happiest at having to clean the game my father brought home. Funny - one of my fondest memories is not of deer, pheasant, or frog, but a big box of Bartlett pears from a friend's orchard he brought back after one of his hunting expeditions.

The recipe calls for Drambuie, a liqueur which I substituted Grand Marnier. I was not about to fork over 35+ bucks for the small amount I needed for this recipe. I did find it at Bevmo for as low as 4.99 which makes one wonder...

My kitchen was filled with such a wonderful aroma while this was baking away; I even texted Andy to share the excitement of what was to come.

Pheasant is known to have a low fat content and can dry out quickly; hence covering it in bacon to moisten the bird as it cooks and while adding wonderful flavor. I'm not sure if basting the bird throughout is really necessary for that is the purpose of the bacon; as the fat melts it is self-basting the pheasant.

I was cautioned about finding possible buckshot from the shotgun shells. Call me weird, but I was so excited to find a small silver little ball while cleaning the bird! Good thing it was not my tooth that found it.

The sauce had an overpowering taste of honey. I really could not detect the flavor of the Grand Marnier, and I'm not sure if I would have had that much of a different outcome using the Drambuie. All things considered, this was a memorable meal.

Thank you Mr. Bell!!

Success meter (1-3): 3

Clean your sink well, before and after rinsing your poultry.

The CDC now discourages washing your fowl for concern
 of cross contamination.


I say my bird fits comfortably.

I left my bacon in the pan after removing from the
bird while it continued to cook and brown.

I love that my husband does
the dirty work for me!

I would forgo the Prince Charles Sauce and dip
the meat back into the pan-drippings.
 Maybe even make a gravy.

Roasted Pheasant with Prince Charles Sauce
Serves 2

Be sure to choose an appropriate size roasting pan that will hold the pheasant comfortably.

1 pheasant (about 2 3/4 pounds)
1 orange, halved
2 Tbl olive oil
Salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
4 flat-leaf parsley sprigs
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bay leaf
6 slices bacon
1/4 cup defatted Chicken broth
2 Tbl Drambuie

Prince Charles Sauce (recipe follows)

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Rinse the pheasant, cleaning the cavity well. Remove any excess fat. Pat dry.

Squeeze the orange all over the bird and inside the cavity. Brush the pheasant all over with the olive oil. Sprinkle inside and out with salt and pepper. Place the parsley, garlic, and bay leaf in the cavity.

Place the bird in a small roasting pan. Arrange the bacon slices across the pheasant, starting at the neck and working towards the back. Add the chicken broth and Drambuie to the pan.

Bake in the center of the oven for 1 1/4 hours, basting 2 or 3 times. Remove the bacon after 1 hour and continue to bake another 15 to 20 minutes until the breast is brown and the pheasant is cooked through (30 minutes per pound total time). When the thickest part of the thigh is tested with the tip of a knife, the juices should run clear. Let rest for 10 minutes, then carve and serve with a sauceboat of Prince Charles sauce.

Makes approximately 3/4 cup.

This luxurious honey and Drambuie sauce was created for Scotland's Bonnie Prince Charlie in the mid 1700S. After brief low cooking, a pat of butter is swirled into the warm honey to smooth it to a velvety consistency. The combination of flavors, spooned warm over freshly roasted pheasant or rosy sliced leg of lamb, are lush.

1/2 cup pure clover honey
1/4 cup Drambuie
2 Tbl unsalted butter, at room temperature

Place the honey and Drambuie in a small heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes until the honey thins out, stirring constantly. Swirl in the butter and cook, stirring, another 2 minutes until the butter melts and the sauce thickens. Warm through over low heat just before serving. This recipe is easily doubled.

All Around The World Cookbook/Sheila Lukins

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