Pheasant Au Vin
- prep time60 min
- total time 210 min
- serves 4
A take on France’s traditional coq au vin, this toothsome version will have you making this dish with pheasant from now on.
2 pheasants (each about 2.5 lbs/1.13 kg), cut into thigh-leg and breast-wing pieces
4 clove sliced garlic, DIVIDED
12 sprig thyme, DIVIDED
4 bay leaves, DIVIDED
2 cup (500 mL) red wine
2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter
1 cup (250 mL) white onion
2 small diced plum (Roma) tomatoes
1 Tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste
1 tsp (5 mL) fresh thyme leaves
2 Tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter
1 cup (250 mL) diced slab bacon
2 Tbsp (30 mL) vegetable oil
1 to 2 cups (250-500 mL) pheasant stock
¼ cup (60 mL) cognac
3 Tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour mixed with 2 tablespoons (30 mL) soft butter to form a paste
1 cup (250 mL) blanched and peeled pearl onions
½ lb(s) (227 g) sautéed whole button mushrooms
½ cup (125 mL) flat leaf parsley leaves, thinly sliced
1. In a large bowl, combine half of the sliced garlic with 6 thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves, pheasant parts and wine. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours to allow flavours to meld.
2. Meanwhile, in a skillet set over medium heat, melt butter, add diced onion, and sauté until translucent, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, then add tomatoes and tomato paste and cook 5 minutes more. Stir in remaining garlic and thyme leaves and cook 1 minute more, then remove from heat and set aside.
3. In a medium skillet set over medium heat melt unsalted butter, add bacon and sauté until golden brown, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, then transfer mixture to a roasting pan and set aside.
4. Remove pheasant from marinade, pat dry and season with salt and pepper.
5. In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add vegetable oil and, working in batches, brown pheasant pieces on both sides, then place on top of reserved bacon in roasting pan and top with reserved tomato mixture, remaining thyme sprigs and bay leaves.
6. Pour marinade into skillet, set over medium-high heat and reduce by half, removing any accumulated impurities before pouring reduction over pheasant and adding enough stock to cover.
7. Cover roasting pan and braise pheasant in a 300 degrees Fahrenheit oven (150 degrees Celsius) until fork tender and thoroughly cooked, about 2 hours.
8. Remove pheasant from roasting pan to a rimmed dish, strain braising liquid into a saucepan, set over high heat, add cognac and bring to a boil. Whisk in just enough flour-butter paste to thicken sauce to a gravy-like consistency, then stir in pearl onions and mushrooms.
9. To Plate: Divide pheasant among four bowls, spoon onion-mushroom gravy over top and serve with mashed potatoes.