These days, pheasants are intensively farmed and fattened up before the corporate shoots, leading to lacklustre and flavourless birds. They seem to have lost their lean gamy characteristics over the years. If you do get the chance, however, buy a brace of hens with pliable breastbones (a normal sign of age, as the stiffer the breastbone the older the bird). The result will be well worth it.
In a heavy-based pan big enough to hold the
Throw the bacon into the pan, followed by the rest of the ingredients except the cider and lightly colour. Add the cider and bring to the boil.
Add the pheasants on their sides, cover with the lid and cook in the preheated oven for 8 minutes. Take out and turn the birds over on to the other side, then cover and
Serve the birds with the bacon and some of the pan juices.
© 2008 Anthony Demetre. All rights reserved.