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Ring Necked Pheasant, Sauteed Breast and Slow Baked Legs with Sauvignon Blanc, Wild Mushrooms and Sage

Ring Necked Pheasant, Sauteed Breast and Slow Baked Legs with Sauvignon Blanc, Wild Mushrooms and Sage

Chef Greg Parks

Four Columns Inn, www.fourcolumnsinn.com, Newfane, VT

Ingredients:

  • Two whole pheasants
  • 2-1/2 cups Sauvignon Blanc wine, divided
  • 4 chopped shallots
  • 6 crushed juniper berries
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1½ cup Sauvignon Blanc wine
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 1½ tsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups Chardonnay wine
  • 1½ Tbsp. chopped shallots
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. mustard
  • 1 Tbsp. chicken or game glace (optional)
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh sage
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • ½ stick butter, cut into chunks
  • ½ lb wild mushrooms, sauteed
  • ¼ stick butter

Method:

Comment from the chef: "We use farm raised ring-necked pheasants. Ring necks have a distinctive taste and better texture than commercially raised pheasants. The breast meat of game birds is very lean and cannot stand overcooking. Since the legs can be tough we slow bake them until fork tender."

To make the breasts: Wash and pat dry the pheasants. To cut the pheasant into pieces remove the wishbone and slice down along the line of the breastbone to remove the two breasts. Then cut off the legs and make a ¼ in. slice along the inner joint of the thigh and drumstick. Reserve the carcass and wings for a future stock. Heat a 12 in. pan over medium heat. Add 1/2 stick butter then breasts and sear turning to brown both sides. Cook breasts to medium rare repeating once again that game bird breasts are very lean and cannot be overcooked. When serving slice the breast meat thinly at an angle.

To make the marinade: in a bowl mix together 1 cup Saugivnon Blanc wine 4 chopped shallots 6 crushed juniper berries 6 black peppercorns 6 bay leaves 1-1/2 tsp. salt. Marinate the pheasant pieces for 8 hours or overnight covered in the refrigerator. Turn the pheasant several times during marinating.

To slow bake the legs: preheat oven to 300 F. Transfer the legs to a roasting pan and mix together 8 sprigs fresh thyme 1-1/2 cups Sauvignon Blanc wine 1-1/2 tsp. salt 1-1/2 tsp. black pepper. Cover pan tightly with foil and place in the oven. Begin testing for tenderness in 1 hr. When fork-tender remove from the oven.

To make the sauce: in a non-reactive or stainless steel saucepan on medium heat reduce 2 cups of Chardonnay wine with 1-1/2 Tbsp. chopped shallots garlic and bay leaves to 1/2 c. Strain and reserve the liquid. In a separate non-reactive or stainless steel saucepan on medium heat reduce the heavy cream to ½ c. In a bowl combine the wine and cream reductions and add the mustard glace sage salt and pepper. When ready to serve warm sauce over medium heat and slowly whisk in the cut-up butter one chunk at a time until melted. Add mushrooms to sauce.

Place one pheasant leg on each plate along with one sliced breast. Spoon warm sauce over pheasants.