Published September 04, 2011, 12:00 AM

Wild game recipe: Pheasant in red wine sauce

2 pheasants, cleaned and each cut into six pieces (two breasts, two thighs, two legs, wings discarded). You want the white meat separated from the dark.

2 pheasants, cleaned and each cut into six pieces (two breasts, two thighs, two legs, wings discarded). You want the white meat separated from the dark.

salt and pepper to taste

2 T. oil

2 T. butter

10 oz. mushrooms, quartered

1 onion, minced

2 T. paprika

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. minced fresh thyme

1 T. flour

1 1/4 c. Sautrenes or any other sweet or dessert white wine

1 c. chicken broth

2 bay leaves

1 c. heavy cream

1 T. fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Pat the pheasant dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Brown one pheasant at a time, flipping halfway through until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes total time for each bird. Transfer to a plate. Melt the butter in the same Dutch oven and add the onion, mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook until the onions are softened and mushrooms are brown around the edges, about 7-10 minutes. Stir in the paprika, garlic and thyme, stir for one minute. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute. Then add one cup of the wine, broth and bay leaves. Make sure you scrape up any of the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Return the thighs and drumsticks to the pot, bring to a simmer, cover and put in the oven. Bake about 40 minutes then add the breasts to the pot along with any accumulated juices. Cover and continue to cook about 20 minutes or until the thickest part of the breast registers 160-165 degrees and the thickest part of the thighs registers 175 degrees on your meat thermometer. Remove the pheasant from the pot, tent with foil and let rest. Put the Dutch oven back on the stove top, toss out the bay leaves and bring the sauce to a simmer. Cook until slightly thickened, about 4-6 minutes. Turn off the heat, stir in the remaining wine, the cream and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the pheasant. Note: Cooking the dark and white meat at separate times makes sure both are cooked just right. Be sure to add the cream after the heat has been turned off, otherwise it will curdle.

The recipe said you could substitute a 3-pound chicken for the pheasant, but this is Sam Cook’s Outdoor section; it just wouldn’t be right!

Laura Schnobrich

Hermantown

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