Saturday, April 18, 2015

P is for Pheasant - A to Z Challenge 2015, Lightbringer.

Ring_necked_Pheasant_Ring necked pheasants are seen all over the US and southern Canada – the males are such colourful birds although, as often happens, the females are quite dull looking.They crow almost like roosters and the sound can be heard from a mile away. They were introduced to this part of the world from Asia in the 1880s and quickly became a very Ring neck femalepopular North American game bird. They eat seeds and waste grain predominantly although they do eat the odd insects too. There are quite a lot of birds in the family including the ordinary pheasant. I know in the UK there is a season for hunting these birds, I don’t know about in North America. Grouse is another bird which is hunted and the season always starts on the Glorious Twelfth (August 12). I don’t know why I know this so well, I’ve never hunted them in my life nor have I eaten them although I have eaten pheasant. Apparently the male pheasant also helps with the rearing of the young.

If you visit Brandon Ax you will find he is revealing the cover of his new book in the Lighbringer series. It is called Lightbringer. He also has his first two books Elemental and Ashes on sale for .99¢ each. I just bought them myself.

This recipe is one of Emeril Legasse’s which means it gets “kicked up a notch” but there are recipes which don’t do this of course. I have only ever eaten it roasted as far as I recall, and not for many years but I do remember I enjoyed it.

Emeril's Favorite Roast Pheasant

6 servingsRoast-Pheasant_jpg_rend_sni12col_landscape




Ingredients
  • 3 (2 1/2 to 3 pound) farm-raised pheasants*, innards removed, wing tips and necks trimmed
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 orange, halved
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon, cut in half
  • 1/4 cup Madeira
  • 1 cup rich chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
  • Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding, recipe follows

  • Emeril's Savory Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding:
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup sliced yellow onions
  • 10 ounces assorted wild mushrooms, such as oyster, shitake, chanterelles, wood ear, or porcini
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 teaspoons Essence, recipe below
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup lager beer
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup grated Gouda cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 pound stale white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon plain bread crumbs
Directions
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F and position the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven.
Season the cavities and the outside of each pheasant liberally with salt and pepper. Divide the chopped onion and carrot equally among the cavities of the pheasants. Squeeze the juice from both halves of the orange and set aside. Cut 1 of the squeezed halves into 3 pieces, and tuck inside of the cavities along with the veggies. Insert 1sprig of thyme into the cavity of each pheasant.
Arrange the pheasants in a large roasting pan, breast sides up. Lay 2 strips of bacon over the top of each pheasant, cutting the bacon into pieces if necessary to cover as much of the pheasant as possible. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove the bacon strips and continue roasting for approximately 30 to 40 minutes, or until the juices run clear. (It is important to not overcook the pheasants, as they are very lean birds.) Remove the pheasants from the oven and transfer to a serving platter, loosely tented, while you make the sauce.
Using a spoon, carefully remove as much extra fat from the pan as possible. Place the roasting pan over high heat and, when hot, deglaze with the reserved orange juice and Madeira, using a wooden spoon to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. When the orange juice and Madeira have reduced by half, add the chicken stock and continue to cook until sauce has reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 to 4 minutes. Swirl in the butter and remove from the heat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Remove the back bone from each pheasant, then cut along the breast bone to divide the birds into two halves. Serve 1/2 pheasant per person, napped with some of the sauce and with some of the Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding.
*Note: Wild pheasants are usually smaller birds, and thus will cook in less time. If you are using wild pheasants, please adjust the recipe accordingly.

Emeril's Savory Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding:
Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add the onions and cook until golden brown and tender, 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon of the garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the Essence, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and 3/4 teaspoon of the pepper, and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are tender and have given off their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add the beer and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan and until the mixture is almost dry, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, cream, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of Essence, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, and whisk well to combine. Add the mushroom mixture and cheeses and stir well. Add the bread cubes and let sit until the bread has absorbed the liquid, 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with the butter. Add the bread crumbs, shaking to cover the bottom evenly. Pour the bread pudding mixture into the prepared pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour and uncover. Continue baking until risen and firm in the center, and golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly before serving.

Yield: 6 servings

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.
Yield: about 2/3 cup

Have a great weekend
Jo




















41 comments:

  1. Never hunted or eaten pheasant either, but Emeril has the best recipes. I use his for a tri-meat meatloaf!

    Good letter "P" day for you!

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    1. Thanks Dixie. If you get the opportunity, pheasant is delicious.

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    2. Jo, is it similar to cornish hen or quail?

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    3. Quite a bit like quail I understand, never eaten quail so I don't know. It's apparently richer and darker than quail.

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  2. We are inundated with pheasants here- I love the way they whirr when they fly, sounds like clockwork!

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    1. I had forgotten that, you are right.

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  3. My Dad used to hunt pheasant, so that I have eaten. We had a lot of grouse around where I now live, but few now, though I did see one a few years ago hiding under the bushes in back. I do not think I have ever eaten them. I surely have never prepared either bird.

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    1. No I haven't prepared them either. I haven't eaten grouse but certainly eaten and enjoyed pheasant.

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  4. Russell loves hunting pheasant. He hasn't in awhile but loved to in the past. I've never eaten it.

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    1. Do you get many pheasant JoJo? I wouldn't think you would like it.

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  5. I have actually never tried pheasant. It sounds delicious!

    @TarkabarkaHolgy from
    Multicolored Diary - Epics from A to Z
    MopDog - 26 Ways to Die in Medieval Hungary

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    1. It is delicious. It's years since I have eaten it though.

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  6. Pheasant is one of those foods I have heard a lot about, but never actually tried. This sure looks delicious. Funny to know they crow like roosters.

    Thank you for the mention.

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    1. They used to be a popular bird in the UK when I lived there. I assume they still are. There you are, you thought you heard a rooster when it was a pheasant LOL

      Your'e very welcome

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  7. Hi Jo - they still are popular .. I always try to buy a few pheasants in the Autumn, when they're still young and plump .. they are so delicious ... and I put mine on a slice of bread, which I've buttered, then sprinkled sherry over and roast the pheasant on that - the bread is multi delicious!! Pity autumn is so far away .. we're now into another of your favourite seasons .. asparagus .. it's a bit early yet, unless it's been forced ... but it's in the shops.

    Grouse is delicious too ... made me wish for roast pheasant now .. cheers Hilary

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    1. You have me drooling here Hilary. I haven't had pheasant in a long long time. The asparagus isn't quite out yet I'm afraid. We can get asparagus all year round, not sure where it comes from, but I very rarely buy it except from the farm.

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  8. One of my favourite birds; I hear one most mornings when I'm out. We used to have one that visited our garden.
    They make a great meal too.

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    1. I remember seeing them in the fields when I lived in England. Not seen them over this side of the pond though.

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  9. I ate pheasant as a kid. We had pheasant season and so the meal was popular at least seasonally.

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    1. It is a delicious bird to eat. I suspect, bearing in mind the price of goose here, that it would also be very expensive.

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  10. Chicken and turkey are the usual victims in my house but never pheasant, God bless their little souls. I rescued a hedgehog on Friday on my way to work, poor critter. Mother nature is so good to us but less so to them.

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    1. I hate to mention this, but the gypsies eat hedgehog and according to my husband, it is delicious.

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  11. When I was young and living in the country we had a family of pheasants suddenly just appear and chill in our yard. I have never had them but the meal sounds delicious. What is pheasant under glass?

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    1. Pheasant under glass is a fairly rich dish which is usually served under a glass dome the idea being that when you remove the dome the guests will have the pleasure of smelling the concentrated odours of the dish before they get to eat it.

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    2. oh! Now I understand-thanks!:)

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  12. My French girlfriend once found a pheasant at the side of the road that had just been killed by a car. She took it home and had us over for dinner ... it was beautiful. . Not too gamey.

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  13. Trust the French. I bet it was beautiful.

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  14. In the animal kingdom, the male is often the better looking. And when you get to humans - what the heck happened?

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    1. Well the male has been a peacock throughout history, but with your record, you would prefer the females to be better looking anyway.

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  15. Hi Jo, nice to meet you I play the alphabet game too. It's my first time this year and I'm sure having fun meeting all these new bloggers. My dad use to go pheasant hunting, and my mom wouldn't cook the bird. We had this spanish friends and the woman use to cook it for us, and we all had dinner together. If I remember correctly it tasted like chicken to me, but that's probably what my dad told me it was. lol Thanks for sharing & I'm following you now. Very nice to meet you.

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    1. Hi Marie, nice to meet you too. I bet your Spanish friends produced a great meal. I tried to find you but couldn't discover your blog.

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  16. I always like pulling a Marie Antoinette and telling the pheasants they can eat cake... BAM!!

    (What? It's day three of emptying boxes... I'm more than a little loopy :)

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    1. Off with his head. Put the cat in the box.

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  17. I love to see pheasants dash across the road when I am a passenger on a country jaunt

    zannierose A-Z visitor

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    1. They are nice to see I agree, a very attractive bird.

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  18. Pheasants are so pretty...when they are alive. Haha. :P

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    1. Yes they are Chrys. Seems almost a shame to eat them.

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  19. I just googled them to see if we have them in Australia because I had no idea and apparently we do but they're endangered so I doubt anyone hunts them. They can live up to 25 years! That would be a tough bird to eat I'd think!

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    1. I wonder if they are sold for food though? I assume they are not indigenous.

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