Pheasant with Celery and Port

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • serves

    4

Appears in

Darina Allen's Simply Delicious Suppers

Darina Allen's Simply Delicious Suppers

By Darina Allen

Published 2001

  • About

Chicken or guinea fowl may also be used.

Ingredients

  • 110 g streaky bacon in one piece
  • 45 g butter
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 1 plump pheasant
  • 130 ml port
  • 300 ml home-made chicken stock
  • ½ or 1 small head of celery
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 175 ml cream
  • roux (optional)
  • squeeze of lemon juice if necessary

Garnish

  • chopped parsley

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.

Cut the rind off the bacon and cut into 7mm cubes. Melt the butter in a casserole, add the bacon and onion and cook for a few minutes. Remove to a plate.

Smear a little butter on the breast of the pheasant and brown it in the casserole over a gentle heat. Return the onion and bacon to the casserole, then add port and stock. Bring to the boil, cover and cook in a moderate oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the celery into 10mm pieces, at an angle. Add to the casserole, packing it all around the pheasant. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and replace the lid. Cook for a further 30–35 minutes. Remove the pheasant as soon as it is cooked, strain and de-grease the cooking liquid. Arrange the celery and bacon in a serving dish, carve the pheasant into 4 portions and arrange on top of the celery.

Bring the cooking liquid back to the boil, add cream and simmer for 4 or 5 minutes to intensify the flavour. Thicken with a little roux if necessary. Taste for seasoning and sharpen with a little lemon juice. Spoon the sauce over the pheasant and celery, and serve scattered with chopped parsley.