Updated: Nov 26, 2020
Very tender, juicy pheasant perfectly in season, cooked in its own pheasant broth and doused with a sweet orange sauce. Pheasant is our anniversary dinner, so I've cooked it 25 times with this year! Today I really wanted to have it very tender (as opposed to when it is roasted, which can be a little hard, although delicious nonetheless).
I buy a whole pheasant (1 is aboundantly sufficient for two people) and I dissect it the night before, separating the tighs and breast. With the bones I make a broth to use the next day when cooking the pheasant.
Ingredients for the broth:
1 big carrot
3 celery sticks medium size
1 blonde onion
A handful of pepper grains
1 teaspoon of minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons of chopped fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
Half a teaspoon of ground salt
Ingredients for the pheasant:
300-400gr pheasant broth
2 pheasant breast fillets and 2 tighs
7-8 tablespoons of flour
3 teaspoons of cornflour
1 heaped tablespoon of butter or vegetable spread
Half a glass of dry red wine (Chianti is perfect)
1 small red onion, chopped really finely but not minced
2 medium juicy bio oranges (juices of both, zest of one)
2 teaspoons of orange marmalade
2 teaspoons of red balsamic vinegar (much better if aged)
The night before fillet the pheasant and carve out the breast and tighs.
Make the broth with the bones, ensure that the water covers well the ingredients. Let it simmer with the lid closed for 1.5 hours, then part-open the lid and let it continue to simmer for another hour. The liquid should have reduced considerably.
Strain the broth into another pot, then let it simmer without the lid for some time until it has reached the desired quantity (roughly 300-400 gr).
On the day: use a deep pan, better if non-stick.
Add the chopped onions and butter and let it cook slowly until the onions are tender. Coat the pheasant pieces in the flour, then increase the heat under the pan and brown them evenly, add a little more butter if necessary.
Once golden, put the pieces away on a plate, then scrape the bottom of the pan and deglaze it with the wine - add the pieces back to the pan:
Once the smell of alchohol has subsided, add the broth, lower the heat and cover. Let it simmer gently for 1 hour and 15 minutes, checking that the broth is not drying out (if needed add a little more broth/water) and turning the pieces regularly.
Uncover the pan and raise the heat to a good bubble to start reducing the sauce for about another 10 minutes; turn the pieces occasionally.
Take the pieces out of the pan and set aside. Keep the heat high and add the the juices of the oranges, the zest, the balsamic vinegar and the marmalade and let it reduce for a further 5-10 minutes. Add half a teaspoon of cornflour if necessary (sprinkle it through a sieve) and stir quite often until it almost reaches the right consistency.
Add back the pieces of pheasant and coat well - cover again the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, turning once.
I serve this with roast potatoes and boiled green beans (only boiled, the rest is absolutely rich enough).