I was given a brace of pheasants the other day and looking about for recipes I found this on The Field website. It is amazingly easy to cook and very tasty. It’s perfect for the “old stager” pheasant with spurs a mile long, and it freezes brilliantly.
■ Salt and ground black pepper
■ 2 pheasants (old is best)
■ Sunflower or other oil for frying
■ 3 large onions, peeled and sliced into rings
■ 6-8 tbsp peach or mango chutney or other fruit chutney
■ 11⁄2-2 large glasses red wine
■ 1-2 tsp cornflour if needed
Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 3. Salt and pepper the pheasants and then in a large, flameproof, cast-iron casserole (a Le Creuset one with a lid is perfect), brown the birds all over in the oil and set aside.
Then fry the onion rings gently in the same pot until slightly coloured and soft, stirring to make sure they don’t burn. Sit the browned pheasants, breast up, on top of the onions and spread a thick layer of chutney over them. Pour over the red wine, then pop on the lid and cook for 1½-2 hours. It will work perfectly in a clay pot if you have one. If you want a slightly less runny sauce, you can thicken it with a teaspoon or so of cornflour.
Serve it with rice or mash to soak up the juices, and plenty of vegetables.