The greatest pleasure I get from hunting is being able to bring home the bird and preparing it for the table. Nothing is more synonomus with Winter than roast pheasant.
The following is how I prepare a roast pheasant dinner.
I hang the birds for 5 days in a cool place. Hang for longer if you prefer a gamier flavour.
Decant a nice bottle of red.
Pluck the feathers taking care not to tear the skin. This normally takes me an hour..be prepared for a mess of feathers. Its a good idea to wear an apron.
Taste the wine to make sure it’s coming to room temperature…
Once the birds are plucked, remove the innards, heads and wings below the knuckle also remove the feet below the knuckle. Make sure to wash your hands before consuming more wine as the flavours don’t mix well.
Two pheasant will easily feed four adults.Massage the outside of the birds in olive oil.
In the bottom of the roasting tin, place some sausages, rosemary, chopped carrots, an onion, three or four cloves of garlic and some celery.
Fill the cavity of the birds with two peeled oranges.
Cover the birds with tinfoil for the first half hour of cooking then remove foil to allow birds to finish. Cook for one and a half hours in a moderate oven about 180 degrees. Relax with a glass of wine and favourite game cookery book to plan next meal…
Serve with roast potatoes, ( cooked by husband ) a selection of vegtables and the remaining bottle or two of red in front of a nice open fire and remember a cook should never have to drink and drive!
The carcass can be then used to make a base stock for soup which is perfect with a light white…enjoy!