A friend presented us with two lovely pheasants, not the normal, much appreciated rabbit. Mrs BYF found a recipe for chestnut dumplings, and decided to make a stew and use some of the foraged chestnuts to compliment the dish
2 pheasants – Plucked and cleaned. Keep the livers, hearts and giblets
150ml stock – Any kind will do but Mr BYF automatically makes stock out of the wings and backbone of any bird, so we used pheasant stock
a few pinches of salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
4 cloves of garlic crushed
100ml white wine. I suppose you could use red or even Madeira. I used dry white because, again, the chestnuts are quite sweet.
Cut the pheasant in to serving portions. Season the meat, salting it well. The seasoning should ideally happen a few hours before cooking. In a lidded pan that will take all the pieces of the birds in a single layer (use two pans if needed) brown the pieces. Remove the pieces from the pan and keep them aside. Sauté the garlic in butter until fragrant and brown. Add the livers, hearts and finely sliced giblets and sauté until brown, remove from pan and keep aside with the rest of the bird. Turn the heat to high and deglaze the pan with the wine, boil for a few minutes. Return the pheasant to the pan and add the stock. Cover the pan and cook for 40 minutes, adding a bit of stock as needed.
Heat the oven to 180 C
100g plain flour
Pinch of salt
25g cooked and peeled chestnuts, mashed
Whisk the flour and salt together to mix. Rub the butter in to the flour until fine crumbs form. Rub the chestnuts into the crumbs and mix until combined. Roll small dumplings the size of a large walnut. Add more stock to the birds if the liquid has evaporated to make sauce. Put the dumplings on top of the meat, pushing them under the sauce. Cover the pan tightly and cook for 30 min without lifting the lid.
We served the pheasant with polenta
ENJOY and do not forget a good glass of homemade RED