A delightfully simple way of serving pheasant thighs or any light game meat for that matter. Partridge, rabbit and even grey squirrel could make for a great alternative protein, just make sure to keep it wild! Serve your marsala pheasant with some fire roast potatoes or polenta. A wet polenta full of parmesan and wild herbs will turn this dish into a really hearty dish to blow away those winter cobwebs.
Marsala wine is a Sicilian fortified wine blended with brandy which will give lovely nutty caramel notes to our finished dish. Using a dark or twice cooked game stock will give your sauce great depth and the mushrooms that super umami edge. Make sure to really caramelise your mushrooms to get that lovely dark hue to your sauce.
As we are using thigh meat the core temperature needs to be higher than if we were using breast meat. This higher temperature helps to break down the fat and connective tissue within the thigh making it almost pull apart tender and removes any chewiness. Making for an all round better eating experience. As always with any wild game harvested using a shotgun, please make sure that you make doubly sure that there is no shot in the meat which will land you with an expensive dentist’s bill!
8 pheasant thighs, bones removed
70g plain flour
Large pinch Salt Box Chilli, Fennel and Orange seasoning
15g rapeseed oil
60g unsalted butter
275g wild or chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
175ml marsala wine
300ml game stock
175ml double cream
Handful of ground ivy leaves, washed and spun dry
Mix together the flour and chilli, fennel and orange seasoning in a bowl. Dust the pheasant thighs in the flour mix, making sure every nook and cranny is covered. Shake off the excess and set aside for a minute.
Place a heavy based skillet over a medium heat and allow it to get nice and hot. Pour in the rapeseed oil and gently fry the pheasant thighs until golden, turning every so often. Transfer to a tray and keep warm by the fire.
Place the skillet back on the heat and pour in a little more oil. Add in the sliced mushrooms and brown lightly, add the butter and continue to cook.
Finely chop the garlic and add to the pan, cook for a minute or two, increase the heat a little before adding in the marsala wine and cook out the alcohol. The marsala may catch alight, don’t be scared it’s just the alcohol burning off. Once the flame has gone, pour the game stock and cream into the mushrooms and bring the pan to a simmer. Place the pheasant thighs into the sauce and continue to simmer until the sauce is starting to thicken and the pheasant thighs are cooked through to a core temperature of 85℃
Roughly chop and scatter the ground ivy into the pan and cook for a minute longer and remove from the heat. Check the seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Serve with fire roast potatoes, polenta or even over pasta!
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As always with any wild game harvested using a shotgun, please make sure that you make doubly sure that there is no shot in the meat which will land you with an expensive dentist’s bill!
Marsala wine is a Sicilian fortified wine blended with brandy which will give lovely nutty caramel notes to our finished dish. Alternatively you could use a wild fruit infused brandy or liqueur, just make sure its not too sweet.
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