Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Pheasant Normandy

Freshly shot pheasant by Jean Pierre.

A good recipe for Pheasant Normandy

a brace of young pheasants
4 sweet apples (Cox's or the like)
155g/4oz butter
1tsp brown sugar
150ml1/4 pint Calvados
600ml/1 pint thick cream
salt and freshly ground pepper

Peel and core the apples, slice into rings and fry in 55g/2oz of the butter. Add the sugar and cook until golden brown and slightly caramelised.Reserve.

Melt the rest of the butter in a flameproof casserole large enough to take birds. Brown the creatures on all sides, turning and coating with the butter. Cover with the lid and place in a preheated oven at 190C/375F/Gas 5 to cook for 40 minutes; or you can cook them on top of the stove, turning at half time.

Carve the birds into good-size pieces and lay them in a shallow gratin dish. Make sure to pick every little piece of meat from the bones. Place the legs at either end. Keep warm. Scrape any morsels from the carving into the casserole juices and heat until bubbling, then pour in the warmed Calvados. Set fire to the mixture, but round until the flames subside. Add the cream and continue cooking, stirring the while with a wooden spoon, until the sauce thickens. Season to taste.

Place the apple rings over the pheasant pieces, then pour the sauce over the whole dish and bring to table. If you prefer, you can serve the apple rings separately. Wild rice with fried celery would be excellent with this dish, and a watercress salad should suffice.

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