This dish also makes a fantastic starter.
4 pheasant breasts (or 2 whole birds)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
60g blue cheese (mild)
1 white endive, broken into single leaves
1 pear, thinly sliced
For braised legs
2 carrots peeled, roughly diced
1 onion, peeled, roughly diced
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 inch ginger, washed, sliced
1 long red chilli
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander
1 litre chicken stock
4 pheasant legs
50ml vegetable oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
In a large pot, heat the oil, add carrots. Reduce heat and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the onion, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the cumin and coriander, and then deglaze with port. Reduce this to a glaze. Add the chicken stock and pheasant legs. Bring to a boil, and reduce to just below a simmer, and cook for 2 hours, or until meat is pull off from the bone. Allow to cool in pot, completely covered in the liquid.
In a second pot, bring 2 litres of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to the boil. Remove from heat and put in the pheasant breast, allow to sit in the hot water for about 5 minutes of until just cooked. Remove and rest for 10 minutes at room temperature, then place in the fridge until ready to serve.
When you can handle the temperature of the pheasant legs, remove them from the pot, and gently pull the meat off the bone. Dress the legs with 3 tablespoons of the braising liquid, olive oil, and sherry vinegar. Break the blue cheese into small size pieces, add the endive leaves and gently toss with the leg meat and pear.
Slice the pheasant breast as thinly as you can, and arrange in a circular motion on the bottom of the plate (1 breast per plate). Season with a little sea salt, then divide the salad among four plates.
Pinot gris is a good wine match for this dish.