Pan Fried Pheasant Breast
1 bird for 2 people, 1 breast each.
This is another easy to do recipe that uses the Pheasant breast alongside some dauphinoise spuds, green veg and a berry/wine sauce.
1 pheasant crown
750gr potato's - finely sliced
1 large white onion
200g of strong cheddar cheese (optional)
250gr double cream
2 cloves of garlic
butter to grease the pan
3 - 4 cubes of thyme butter (can be frozen in ice cube trays when you have leftover herbs)
200gr fresh garden peas
A large tbls of good berry jelly mixed with a glass of red wine.
Most of the preparation is for the potato's dauphinoise, peel the potato's and slice thinly. Try and get a uniform size to allow them to cook evenly. Place in a pot and par-boil for 5 -10 mins, do not boil for to long, just until the hardness has gone out of them. Drain and allow to steam off for 5mins. While they are boiling peel and chop the onion into fine rings.
Use a reasonably shallow ovenproof dish which needs to be rubbed all over on the inside with the cut garlic cloves. Then grease the bottom and sides of the dish with a little butter. Then layer the potato's and onion evenly in the bowl (do not forget to season) and then pour the double cream over the top so it gets to the top of the last layer of potatoes. Put these in a hot oven (190 degrees) for 10mins then turn down to 170 degrees. They should take 40mins in total.
Now the pheasant, heat a good non stick frying pain with the 4 cubes of thyme butter until it begins to smoke then press the crown of the pheasant into the hot butter and thyme. Keep changing the bird over to allow both sides (breasts) to colour evenly. Baste the whole crown with the hot butter\thyme. once coloured put in an oven proof dish and put in the oven with the potato's. The size of the bird will determine the exact length of cooking time. As soon as the bird is in the oven de-glaze the frying pan with the wine/jelly and keep warm.
The bird had to be slightly pink in the middle or it will overcooked and dry. 14mins is about the right time but check if unsure by pressing the flesh of the bird, the firmer to the touch the more well done the bird will be. Take it out of the oven and allow to rest for at least 10mins. During this time you can add your peas to hot water and bring to the boil for 3-4mins and get the potato's out of the oven and sprinkle cheese over the top if you want to add cheese.
To plate up, simply carve the breast off each side of the crown and serve with the potato's and peas. Pour some of the wine/jelly over the top of the breast and serve. The picture accompanying this recipe does not do the dish justice, using an Aga for the first time meant we over cooked the potato's! However we simply added a bit more cream and they tasted a lot better than they looked!