At this recipe I only used pheasant breasts and legs because the bird’s body has too many bones so it is not worth to deal with. The pheasant together with the mushroom and the Brussels sprouts with crispy bacon on the top are just perfect for a Christmas dinner. You just need 20 minutes preserving a moist tender touch in the pheasant’s breasts and legs but the cognac takes on the pheasant’s game flavour.
Ingredients for the pheasant:
1 pheasant leg and 1 breast/per person
2 stems of celery
200 ml bouillon
1 dl cognac
200 ml cream
500 g sprouts
200 g smoked ham
1 pinch of bicarbonaat
250 g champignon (mixed)
1 red onion
2-3 cloves of garlic
1.First start cooking the pheasant. Preheat oven to 220 or 425 F, season the birds with salt and pepper and butter the roasting tray. Roll over meats (legs and breasts) with bacon then put them into a big cast iron pan and fry over a moderate heat for 20 minutes. Then remove the meats from the pan and wrap them in alufolie and keep them warm for 10 minutes.
2.Meanwhile soaté some butter in a frying pan, add shallot, onions, carrot, celery stems. Flavor with thyme, bay leaves and fry for a few minutes until they are softening. Wrap out and put pheasant stuffs to that pan and let them roast with the vegetables for 15-20 more minutes. At this stage pour over the cognac, flambé the breasts and legs. When it has been done pour over vegetable or chicken stock and let it cook.
3.While the bird legs and breast roast prepare Brussels sprouts and bacon. Trim the stalk and untidy tops from each, removing the outing layer and wash well. Cut each of them half.
Set a large sauté pan over medium heat and add butter. Cut bacon into long strips and add to pan together with some oregano. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes to render the fat then strain and set aside. Remove bacon slices and put aside. Add Brussels sprouts into that liquid. Season with salt and pepper and cook until slightly browned. Add chicken stock and steam for 3 to 5 minutes until liquid has evaporated and vegetables are tender. Add balsamic vinegar and toss to coat. Cook until balsamic has reduced then fold in fresh parsley and bacon.
4.Remove pheasant from the pan and their cooking liquor and leave the rest in a warm place. Return to the pan bring the liquid to the boil. Remove the sprig thyme from the liquor, add cream and simmer for few minutes until the sauce is tickening. Season with salt and pepper skimming away any impurities. This becomes your sauce (and what a wonderful sauce!).
5.While the sauce is simmering prepare mushrooms: Melt the butter in a pan, add chopped or pressed garlic flesh then mushrooms. Salt and pepper and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes until mushrooms are tender.
6. Break Brussels sprouts with a fork into rough.
7. Heat arachide oil to 170-180°C and fry the croquettes.
8. In a warm serving plate mix the Brussels sprouts with the vegetables, and spoon over any buttery liquor from the pheasant. Place the bird legs and breasts (Pheasants can be quickly rewarmed in the preheated oven) onto each plates, spoon the sauce over the meat and the vegetables and serve alongside with the croquettes and the crispy bacon slices on the top of the Brussels sprouts!