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
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
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