Roast Pheasant with Honey-Fig Sauce
Used with permission from the new cookbook
A Taste of Canada by Rose Murray
Alterations should be made to fit with your dietary needs. Please
consult with your medical team before you attempt to make this recipe.
Roast Pheasant with Honey-Fig Sauce. Makes 4 servings.
1 pheasant (2 to 2 1/2 lb/1 to 1.25 kg)
12 small shallots or pearl onions
1/4 cup butter
Salt and pepper
1 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp brandy
1/4 cup chopped dried figs (about 3)
3 tbsp liquid honey
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken stock
- Remove any giblets from the pheasant, reserving them for another use, such as stock
- Pat the pheasant dry inside and out with paper towels. Place 2 shallots in the cavity and truss the pheasant by tying the legs together and the wings to the sides
- In a large skillet, melt half the butter over medium-high heat. Add the pheasant and cook, turning it until it’s browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes
- Place the pheasant breast side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with any butter remaining in the skillet
- Roast, uncovered, in a 400°F (200°C) oven, basting occasionally with pan juices, until a meat thermometer inserted in the thigh registers 185°F (85°C) and the juices run clear when a thigh is pierced with a skewer, 45 to 55 minutes
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining 10 shallots and cook, stirring, until golden, 5 minutes
- Stir in the wine and brandy and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the dried figs, honey, lemon juice and bouquet garni; reduce the heat to medium-low
- Cover and cook until the shallots are just tender when pierced with a knife, about 10 minutes. Add the fresh figs and simmer for 2 minutes
- (The shallots and sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead, covered and refrigerated. Bring to a simmer before basting the pheasant.) Five minutes before the pheasant is cooked, baste with some of the juices from the skillet
- Remove the pheasant to a warm platter. With a slotted spoon, arrange the shallots and fig quarters around it, tent loosely with foil and let stand in a warm place while you finish the sauce
- Place the roasting pan over a burner and stir the flour into the drippings. Cook, stirring, over medium heat for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in the stock and the contents of the skillet; cook, stirring, until thickened and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes
- Discard the bouquet garni and season to taste with salt and pepper. Carve the pheasant and serve with the sauce
- *Make a bouquet garni by enclosing 3 sprigs of fresh parsley, 3 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1 tsp/5 mL dried) and 2 bay leaves inside two stalks of celery and tie well with string
Hunting wild birds has long been a tradition across the country. Hunters in the Prairies might return with duck and prairie chicken, for Newfoundlanders and northerners, it could be partridge, ptarmigan, turrs and wild geese; in Ontario, wild grouse, ducks and pheasant. If fresh figs are unavailable, substitute dried figs, stemmed and quartered.
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