Salmis of Hen Pheasant with Endives

Poule faisane en salmis à la mousse d’endives

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • For



Appears in

Cuisine of the Sun

By Roger Vergé

Published 1979

  • About

Moderately expensive


  • 1 hen pheasant of 1–1.3 kg (2 lb 4 oz-2 lb 14 oz)
  • 2 tablespoons cognac
  • 4 coarsely-chopped shallots
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 3 juniper berries
  • 6 tablespoons red wine of the kind you are serving with the dish
  • ½ teaspoon tomato purée
  • 40 g ( oz) butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 250°C/500°F/Mark 10. Pluck, gut, singe and truss the pheasant, leaving in the heart, lungs and liver. Season the bird inside and out with salt and pepper and put the thyme and juniper berries inside together with the heart, lungs and liver of the bird.

  2. Place the pheasant in a roasting dish and cover with 25 g (1 oz) butter. Put in the oven and roast for 20 minutes, basting two or three times with the butter, and cooking the bird for 5 minutes on one side, 5 minutes on the other and for 10 minutes on its back to make sure it is evenly cooked. Then remove the pheasant from the oven and put it to keep hot. Pour off the cooking butter and replace it with the wine. Bring to the boil on top of the stove to dissolve the cooking juices which have stuck to the bottom of the pan.

  3. Cut the trussing strings off the pheasant. Remove the liver, lungs and heart and set them aside on a plate. Retrieve the juniper berries and thyme and add them to the red wine in the roasting-dish (2). Cut the pheasant into four pieces – two with wings and two with legs. The flesh should be faintly rosy. Remove all the bones except the main bones in legs and wings. Butter a small casserole lightly and put the four pieces of pheasant in it, skin side up. Grate some pepper over them, cover the casserole, and put them over a very, very low heat. Chop the bones and carcass of the pheasant coarsely and put them in a saucepan with a tablespoon of butter. Sauté over a medium heat and when the butter stops sizzling, add the chopped shallots and the tomato purée. Allow to brown. Flame with 2 tablespoons cognac, then pour in the wine from the roasting dish (2). Reduce until there is no more than 4 tablespoons of liquid at the bottom of the saucepan, and then pour in hot water up to the level of the top of the bones. Add the stock cube. Cook for 20 minutes over a moderate heat, then strain the sauce through a fine wire sieve into another saucepan. Reduce again until no more than about 2 coffee cups of liquid remain.

    While the sauce is reducing chop the heart, lungs and liver finely on a chopping board to make a smooth paste. Add this to the boiling sauce. Boil again and then pour the sauce, which should be slightly thickened, through a fine wire sieve over the pieces of pheasant in the cocotte. Just before serving, bring the sauce briefly to the boil again and season lightly with salt and pepper. (For the accompanying endives).

Recommended wines

  • solid red wines such as Beaune, Volnay or Margaux