Faisan aux Olives

Pheasant with Olives

Ingredients

  • a brace of young pheasants
  • a walnut-sized knob of butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt, milled pepper
  • 2 slim leeks, shredded
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • a bay leaf
  • about 18 black olives
  • 1 wineglass red wine
  • 1–2 tablespoons whisky or brandy
  • about 12 green olives

Method

Take a cast-iron casserole large enough to hold both pheasants. Melt the butter with the oil and brown the birds all over; lift them out on to a plate and season all over with salt and pepper.

Soften the leeks, carrot and garlic in the remaining oil. Add a bay leaf, half the black olives, stoned, and the wine. Place the pheasants on top, breast side down, and cover with a lid.

Cook in a moderate oven (Mark 5, 190°C, 375°F) for 1–1½ hours until the pheasants are cooked.

Move the pheasants on to a hot serving dish. Halve or joint them now, if more convenient. Scoop any surplus fat from the sauce; set the casserole over high heat and flame with the whisky or brandy. Mash the vegetables in the sauce to a purée (sieve if necessary) and add all the remaining olives. Heat the sauce through; if too thick, thin with a little stock. Then spoon over the pheasant.

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