Features - Food Recipes

Roast Pheasant with Applejack Cream Sauce

1/2 cup peeled, cored and diced apple,
4 tablespoons butter cut into '1/2-inch cubes
1/4 cup finely chopped onion 1 tablespoon parsley
2 pheasant livers, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups  1/2-inch-diced day-old bread
Freshly ground black pepper

2 drawn pheasants, approximately 1pound each
1/2cup apple jack
2 tablespoons soft butter
1/2 chicken stock, fresh or canned
4 strips bacon, cut in half
1/4 cup heavy cream

To make the stuffing, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over moderate i heat in an 8-inch skillet. When the foam subsides, add the chopped onion and the pheasant livers.

Stirring frequently, cook the mixture for 3 to 4 minutes until the livers have stiffened slightly. Scrape the mixture into a bowl.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the same skillet and, over high heat, brown the diced bread in it for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add it to the livers in the mixing bowl. Mix in the apples and parsley, taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375. Wash the pheasants quickly under cold water and dry them thoroughly inside and out with paper towels. Rub the soft butter into the skins of each of them and fill their cavities with the stuffing. Do not pack it in too firmly. Secure the openings with skewers or sew with strong white thread. Truss the birds by tying their legs together with cord. Drape the bacon strips over their legs and breasts, and place them, breast side up, on a rack set in a shallow baking pan just large enough to hold the birds comfortably.

Roast undisturbed in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the birds lightly with salt and pepper. Heat 1/4 cup of the applejack in a small pan until lukewarm. Set it alight with a match and pour it flaming, little by little, over the birds, shaking the pan gently until the flames die out.

Baste thoroughly with the accumulated pan juices and return the pheasants to the oven. Roast for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the birds are brown, crisp and tender.

Remove to a heated platter and make the sauce.

Pour the chicken stock and the remaining applejack into the roasting pan and bring it to a boil on the top of the stove, scraping into it any brown bits clinging to the bottom and sides of the pan. Boil briskly for 2 to 3 minutes, then stir in the cream. Bring to a boil once more, taste for seasoning, and either pour the sauce over the pheasants or serve it separately in a gravy boat