It is pheasant season and awhile back I was showing off my prowess in dressing pheasants. I have been hesitant to cook with them until I found a truly inspiring recipe. The inspiration for this comes from a wonderful blog Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. Hank has several recipes for game birds.
This escabeche uses the entire bird. Everything I need is in my pantry. And it keeps well refrigerated for a week or more. The vinegar works as a preservative. I wanted to try it.
Even though it looks nothing like the escabeche recipe on Hank's blog, the flavour is amazing. It looks like a curry but that colour comes from the carrots in the stewing mixture. Directions told me to puree the mixture but next time I would puree only half and leave the texture of some of the vegetables in tact. I am serving this with a saffron and almond rice pilaf.
Pheasant Escabeche adapted from Hunter Angler Gardener Cook
- 2 pheasants
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- lemon peel from 1 lemon, white pith removed
- 1/2 cup sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 1 cup white wine
- 6 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 cloves
- 1 head of garlic, peeled
- 1 onion, sliced into half-moons
- 2 sliced carrots
- Cut birds into serving pieces and salt well. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot with a lid over medium heat and cook the lemon peel in the oil until it browns. Remove and discard.
- Saute birds until nicely browned. Remove and set aside.
- Saute the onion in the lemon-flavored olive oil until just beginning to brown.
- Add the carrots and garlic and saute for a few minutes, stirring often.
- Pour in the vinegar, white wine, all the herbs and spices and bring to a simmer.
- Put in the pheasant and add a little water. You want the birds to be almost submerged, but not completely. Cover and simmer slowly for 90 minutes.
- Remove the birds and discard the bay leaves.
- Puree the sauce.
- Return it to the pot and bring to a simmer. Return the birds to the sauce. Turn off the heat and cover. Let the birds cool in the sauce for an hour or so.
- Serve cold, warmed up or at room temperature.