Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pheasant With Tarragon and Juniper Sauce

After a week of aging in the fridge, I finally cooked the pheasant I took before Christmas.  I spent the last week debating how I should prepare it.  Initially I thought of roasting it whole in a simple Italian style but when I plucked him, I noticed his thigh was too bloodied up to keep whole. 
I butchered him cleaning and removing the meat of the shot up area.  Since this was an old bird I figured I needed to braise it to keep it somewhat tender and moist.  I hoped the aging process would have helped with that as well.

Fresh Tarragon
Juniper Berries
Heavy Cream
White Wine

I don't like wasting usable ingredients like the bones and any meat attached to them.  Since one pheasant carcass is really not enough to make a broth, I cheated making a pheasant broth.  I use the left over bones and put them in a pot with chicken stock with onions and carrots.  Bring to a boil and then simmer.

In a separate fry pan on high heat place some oil and butter, add crushed juniper berries and brown the legs on each side.   Once browned add the wings and brown each side.  By this time the stock should be ready.  Strain the contents and add the broth back to the pot and put back on the heat.  Once eth wings and legs are browned add it to the broth and let simmer. 

With the same fry pan, add more butter and place the breasts skin side down.  Once browned flip over.  When the other side has browned, lower the heat and add chopped garlic and shallots.   Deglaze with white wine scraping the bottom clean.  Remove the legs and wings from the broth and place back to the fry pan.  Pour the reduced broth into the fry pan and add cream.  Once the legs and breast are fully cooked, remove and set aside for now.  Turn up the heat, add the tarragon and reduce the sauce by half.

Once reduced put meat back into the sauce just to rewarm it.  When warm it is ready to be served.

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