The season for pheasant is from the end of September to the end of January, but it is available frozen all year. Pheasant is high in protein, low in fat and cholesterol, and ideal for juicy pot-roasting.
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1 head of celery
70g (2½ oz) walnuts, chopped
100g (3½ oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
2 pheasant or chicken livers, chopped
Finely grated zest and juice of
1 unwaxed lemon
Salt and black pepper
1 egg white
2 pheasants, about 675g (1lb 8oz) each
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
15g (½ oz) butter
55g (2oz) pearl barley
1 bay leaf
2 slices of streaky bacon, halved
250ml (9fl oz) chicken stock
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:1hr › Ready in:1hr20min
Heat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4). Finely chop 1 large celery stick and mix with half the walnuts, the breadcrumbs, livers and lemon zest, with salt and pepper to taste. Add enough egg white to bind the mixture, then use to stuff each pheasant cavity.
Heat the oil and butter in a large, flameproof casserole, add the pheasants and cook over a medium heat until lightly browned. Remove the casserole from the heat and remove the pheasants to a plate.
Cut the remaining celery into thick slices and add to the casserole with the pearl barley, remaining walnuts and bay leaf. Place the pheasants on top and lay the bacon slices across the breasts.
Add the lemon juice and stock with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, cover, then transfer to the oven for 50-60 minutes, until the pearl barley is tender and the pheasant is cooked through. Serve at once.