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December 3: A Most Excellent Bird



My guy is a hunter. Every November you will find him in the middle of nowhere Kansas for opening weekend of pheasant season. (Keith is the one without the attractive orange vest)
pheasanthunt.jpg

Since about 2005 I have been attempting to make Pheasant with Prince of Wales sauce. And every year something goes wrong. Not with the cooking, but with trying to get everything gathered and finding the time to cook these birds. Last year I thought I had it made, but realized the frozen veal stock I bought 4 years earlier was probably beyond old.

I am happy to report that 2011 was the year of the pheasant. Keith had a successful hunt and I finally got my act together in the kitchen. The result was simply divine!
pheasant.jpg

I served it for Thanksgiving. All of the regular platters were occupied by turkey and such, so instead of “pheasant under glass” we had “pheasant on the plastic BBQ platter”. I think should add a large attractive serving platter to my Christmas list.

If you’d like to impress your holiday guests this year with a dish fit for royalty, here is my recipe for you. If you don’t have a pheasant hunter in the family, don’t fret. My favorite butcher David (la Boucherie @ la Baguette) can get pheasant for you and knows how to present them as whole birds. They’re probably not cheap, but considering the hunting trip cost at least $250-$300, I’m sure his prices comparatively seem like a bargain!

First step - gather all of the odd supplies…

glacedeveau.jpgVeal Stock
La Baguette has these new non-frozen kind of veal starters that are fab (and a lot less expensive)
Champagne
If you don’t want to enjoy a full bottle, buy the little ones of Korbel. One small bottle is all that is needed. Buy the brut. Keith brought home brut rosé, but fruity is good for this dish so it worked.
Port Wine
You don’t need a pricey bottle, just a decent quality.frills.jpg
Turkey Frills
Frilly paper shoes for the bird feet. Presentation is everything! I found mine at Thyme Square in Edmond. Not sure if they are still by Panera (or even open). It’s been awhile.
Arrowroot
Not that uncommon, but you may need to go to a grocery store with more than the basic spices to get this.
Thyme
Fresh is best. I’m fortunate enough to have a supply in the back yard.
Pork Caulpheasant1.jpg
I used bacon but it was not fun getting it to stay around my birds. In hindsight I would have used pork caul. I’m sure our friend David at La Boucherie will be of assistance in this area.
Pheasant!
If preparing wild birds, have your hunter do all the icky work. Make sure the bullet fragments are removed. Wash and pat dry. This recipe is for 2-3 birds.

and most importantly, have a large platter ready that isn’t intended for weenies and burgers.

I don’t want to bore all of the vegetarians and non-cooks out there, so I’ve linked the recipe here.

For those adventurous enough to attempt this, everyone will think you totally rock. It only took me 6 years to get around to making this, but the execution really wasn’t that difficult once I had my act together.

hanne1.jpgIn other news, the Hanne Falkenberg trunk show started today. I threw together a video presentation of her design collection that we can play at the shop. Thought that was more interesting than flipping through a notebook. For those who can’t make it (or are too anxious to wait), here ya go.

Do try to at least come see these garments in person if you can. The Hanne Falkenberg trunk show will be on display though December 12.

One Response to “December 3: A Most Excellent Bird”

  1. Melissa Says:

    And if you buy arrowroot just for this, I have always used it for making potpurri from dried flowers. Something about preserving them without affecting the smell, I think.

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