When I worked on the pheasant farm in Sussex I learnt to sympathise with those who have endless pheasants to cook and spent a lot of time thinking up recipes. I particularly like this one because it is so good for a dinner party. You can get to the stage where you wrap the pheasant earlier in the day and just bung it in the oven at the relevant time, and the pastry stops it drying out. It’s also a good recipe for guinea fowl and chicken.
Peel the chestnuts and simmer in salted water until tender but still whole. Mix together the bacon, livers, chestnuts, onion and
For the sauce, heat the butter in a heavy pan. Add the flour and cook for 3 minutes stirring continuously. Add the stock to the roux a bit at a time. Whisking continuously reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes stirring and skimming every 10 minutes. Add the cream and simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes. Season and pass through a conical sieve into a clean saucepan. Over a low heat, whisk in the butter a little at a time. Remove from the heat, add the sherry and serve with the pheasant.
© 1998 Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright estate. All rights reserved.