Rotisserie for Beef and Bird in Houston often pairs this elegant entrée with wild rice. This version is adapted from a recipe that appears in Houston Is Cooking 2000 by Ann Criswell (Houston Gourmet, 1999). Preparation involves flambéing, so be sure to use a skillet without a nonstick finish.
Yield: 4 servings
2 (3 lb) pheasants
1 tsp. salt dash of freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 c. flour
1.2 c. unsalted butter
8 slices lean bacon, coarsely cut
12 large white button mushrooms, quartered
1/4 c. brandy
1 c. dry white wine
2 medium potatoes, peeled, boiled, and diced
1/2 c. pearl onions, boiled and stemmed
roasted sweet peppers (optional)
chopped fresh parsley (optional)
fresh rosemary spring (optional)
Remove pheasant breasts by cutting with a sharp knife along breastbone to wing bone; save remainder for another use. Sprinkle breasts with salt, pepper, and chopped rosemary, and dust lightly with flour. Melt butter in a heavy skillet (one without a nonstick finish), and sauté breasts over low heat for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove breasts, reserving drippings, and place in shallow baking dish; set aside. Sauté bacon and mushrooms in same skillet until bacon is cooked but not crisp. Add brandy, and flambé, lighting carefully with a taper match from a safe distance. Stir in wine, potatoes, and onions, and spoon over pheasants. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, or until pheasants are done. Garnish with roasted peppers, parsley, and rosemary sprig. Note: For a lower-fat dish, remove skin from breasts, reduce butter to 1/4 cup, and use only 4 slices of bacon.
From the March 2000 issue.