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Author Notes: Sometimes recipes are born from ingenuity and other times they are born from a combination of nostalgia and desperation. This is one of the latter. Cooking of one on Christmas day can be a little dull, so this year I sought to reconjure childhood memories of Scotland by preparing a roasted pheasant. Having never prepared pheasant I was a little wary, since I know the meat can dry out quite quickly and result in a very tough bird. Luckily I had more in my fridge than I thought, and the result was quite astonishing! Merry Christmas and God bless this bird! —nycnomad
Oven Roasted Pheasant Wrapped in Bacon
- 1 Pheasant 2-3lb bird
- 1 packet Streaky Peppered Bacon (Uncured)
- 1 Orange
- 4-5 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon Juniper Berries
- 1/2 cup Whisky
- 4 Medium Carrots
- 2 Parsnips
- 1 packet Baby Portabello Mushrooms (10-12 Small)
- 20 Small Brussels Sprouts
- 1 Granny Smith Apple
- 4-5 Stalks of Celery
- 2 cups Water
- 1/2 cup Duck Rendered Fat (reserved from some breasts I had prepared in advance)
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- Place your pheasant breast side up in a medium side roasting pan/dish. Crush the juniper berries and rub the inside of the body cavity as well as the sides of the pheasant.
- Cut the orange into 8 wedges and stuff the body cavity with the orange slices and the thyme sprigs.
- Wrap the outer surface of the pheasant with 6 pieces of streaky bacon, cutting the slices in half so that you can cover the entire bird.
- Truss the bird. This will help to keep the breasts tender and juicy.
- Smear the duck fat over the surface of the bird, bacon and all. Pour the whisky and the water into the pan.
- Pop the bird into the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes, uncovered.
- While the bird is roasting, coarsely chop the vegetables and the apples, along with any remaining bacon.
- Remove the roasting pan and add the vegetables and apples around the bird. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and return the dish to the oven for another 45 mins-1hr.
- Stir the vegetables every 20- 30 mins so that they cook evenly and continue baking until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees F.
- Keep an eye on the bird and when it starts to brown, baste it with the pan drippings. Roast for another 10 minutes and baste again until it achieves the desired color.
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow the pheasant to rest for about 10 minutes.
- Carve the bird and serve over wild rice or mashed sweet potatoes (pictured).
Whisky Lingonberry Sauce
- 1/2 cup Scotch or Irish Whisky
- 1/2 cup Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
- 1/2 cup Lingonberry Jam
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1 pinch Cayenne Pepper
- Place all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring them to a slow boil over a medium flame. Reduce the flame and allow the sauce to reduce slightly.
- Pour into a serving dish and once the pheasant has been plated drizzle the sauce over the sliced pheasant and the vegetables.