Roast Whole Pheasants With Herb and Vermont Maple Syrup Glaze


4 tablespoons dried thyme
4 tablespoons dried oregano
4 tablespoons dried rosemary
4 tablespoons maple syrup (Vermont)
2 teaspoons of salt
6 bay leaves
1 onion, peeled and quartered


Combine all marinade ingredients. Place the pheasants in a large, deep bowl that is non-reactive (not metal or plastic) and pour marinade over the birds and in the cavity. Refrigerate, covered for 1-2 days. Turn occasionally so birds marinate evenly.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pheasants on a rack in a roasting pan and reserve the marinade liquid. Stuff the pheasants with the dried fruit and onion quarters and wrap the birds in bacon so the meat stays moist during cooking. Truss the birds and place the breast sides down before putting the pan in the oven. After 20 minutes, decrease the temperature to 325 degrees. Roast approximately 2 hours, checking the temperature using an instant read thermometer after 1 1/2 hours.
While the pheasants are roasting, place the reserved marinade in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce from 2 cups to 1/2 cup of liquid. About 15 minutes before the roasting is done, pour the liquid over the pheasants and finish cooking.
When the pheasants reach 160 degrees, remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Remove bacon, fruit and onions from birds and carve into serving sized portions. Reserve fruits and onion to garnish the pan. Serve with homemade gravy made from pheasant stock




Great for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I, the lightheatedlocavore, love the Thanksgiving/Christmas food traditions in the Northeast, but I'm not crazy about the taste of turkey. Over the years, I've cooked Turducken (turkey stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken) which is tasty but extraordinarily rich and Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding instead of turkey. But, this year I made Roast Whole Pheasant using a recipe for Guinea Hen in The "21" Cookbook as a guide (which by the way is one of my favorite cookbooks for game cooking and holiday fare -- it was published in 1995 when Michael Lomonaco was still the chef at the 21 Club Restaurant in midtown - and before he went to Windows on the World).


2 pheasants. Serves 6.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009 - 1:19pm

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