Pheasant with Fennel

In my days as a pheasant farmer, I was interested to see how energetically the pheasants savaged the fennel in my vegetable garden. Game birds are, of course, potty about aniseed, and this recipe is my revenge.

Ingredients

  • 1 pheasant, drawn and cut up
  • 2-3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • A glass of white wine
  • 1 tbsp brandy
  • cups pheasant stock
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 large bulb of fennel, finely sliced
  • 1 onion, minced
  • cup heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp chopped fennel leaf
  • 4 oz bacon (about 4 thick slices), cut into strips and fried until crisp

Method

Coat the pheasant pieces in flour, then sauté in the butter in a flameproof casserole. Stir in sufficient flour to absorb the fat, and blend in the wine, brandy, stock, and a seasoning of salt and pepper. Add the sliced fennel and the onion, and bring to simmering point. Cover the casserole and put into a preheated oven at 350°F to cook for 45 minutes.

Move the pheasant pieces to a warm serving dish. Stir the cream into the sauce and heat through without boiling. Pour over the pheasant. Garnish with the chopped fennel leaf and the bacon.

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