Food and drink

Pheasant in a cream sauce


With a month to go until the City of Aberdeen Bakery Hughes 10k I’m out running most evenings to get the miles under my belt. I’m determined to try to get a 10k time below 50 mins this year so I’m aiming for sub 55 minutes next month. That doesn’t leave a lot of time during the week for cooking but I was able to get this pheasant dish together on Thursday.

Pheasant doesn’t need a lot of cooking and I had it in the freezer so it’s just a matter of remembering to take it out to defrost in the morning along with some bacon. I served it with a chestnut stuffing which was leftover from a previous blog post
and just yanked out of the freezer five minutes before I needed it then whacked in the microwave to heat up.

The dish itself was simple. Brown the bits of bird in a pan then place to one side while you fry off the bacon and onion. De-glaze with wine and add some stock then put the pheasant back in the pan with a bay leaf and simmer gently for half an hour. Finally I thickened it with some cream and I threw in a few thyme leaves before serving it with the chestnut stuffing.

I love that stuffing. It’s awesome with game birds. The pheasant itself was delicious; still lovely and succulent from being braised and the sauce was creamy with a rich, deep flavour from the wine, stock and bacon.

Half an hour of cooking plus maybe 5 minutes of prep to chop the onion and slice the bacon. Oh and while it was on the hob I nipped upstairs to have a stretch and a shower after my training run. All of which meant I had plenty of time left in the evening to relax and enjoy the rest of the wine which didn’t get used in the sauce.

Serves 2

1 pheasant, jointed (two breasts and two legs)
1 onion, finely chopped
4 or 5 rashers of streaky bacon cut into lardons
250ml white wine
250ml chicken stock
Bay leaf
Some fresh thyme leaves
Single cream

Heat some oil in a large pan then season and brown the pheasant pieces before taking them out to one side.
Fry off the bacon pieces until they start turning crispy then lower the heat and add the onion.
Once the onion has softened de-glaze the pan with the wine then add the stock.
Return the pheasant to the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Drop in the bay leaf then cover the pan and leave it to cook gently for 30 mins.
Check the pheasant is cooked and then add the thyme and some cream to thicken the sauce.
If necessary turn the heat up with the lid off the pan to reduce and thicken the sauce a bit more.
Serve with some chestnut stuffing if you happen to have some in the freezer.

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