Roast Pheasant and Endive
by Frank McClelland
Roasting a pheasant is as easy as any other fowl. It has more flavor than turkey and is one of the more interesting fowls to consider serving around t
Ingredients1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 orange (zest, juice, and what’s left of the flesh)
1 lemon (zest, juice, and what’s left of the flesh)
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons salt, plus more to season capon
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup ground raw almonds
1 cup Pinot Noir
1 tablespoon brown sugar
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to season capon
1 whole pheasant, capon or chicken (about 7 pounds)
3 heads endive, cut in half lengthwise
3 garlic cloves, whole
Instructions1. Combine the thyme, chives, parsley, and tarragon; set aside 2 tablespoons of this
mixture for the stuffing. Combine the remaining herb mixture with the butter, orange and
lemon zests, minced garlic, 2 teaspoons of the salt, the paprika, and ground almonds in
the bowl of a food processor and puree until smooth. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to allow
the butter to firm up.
2. Prepare a basting marinade by whisking together the lemon and orange juices, wine,
brown sugar, and 3 of the crushed garlic cloves in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Prepare the stuffing by combining the chopped flesh of the orange and lemon, the
remaining 3 crushed garlic cloves, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, and the 2
tablespoons of reserved herbs in a small bowl. Mix well. 4. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
5. Spread the butter mixture liberally under the skin of the entire breast and lower thigh
of the pheasant. Insert the stuffing into the capon cavity. Truss the legs together with
6. Place the shallots, endive halves, and the whole garlic cloves in a medium-size roasting
pan (one in which the capon will fit snugly). Arrange them around the sides of the pan to
make room for the capon, then place the pheasant in the pan, breast side up.
7. Pour the basting marinade over the pheasant, dust the bird with salt, and roast for 2 hours, turning every 20 minutes (on its side, on its breast, on its other side, then breast side up again). Baste the bird each time you turn it, adding additional liquid (water or wine) to
maintain the original liquid level. For the final 20 minutes of cooking (breast side up),
reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF. Remove the capon from the oven and transfer it to
a serving platter.
8. Strain the pan juices into a sauceboat, skim off the fat, and season with salt and pepper
to taste. Carve the pheasant and serve with the endive and shallots and drizzled with the
cooking juices. Note: A capon (a young rooster) is the juiciest bird, very flavorful and tender. It works perfectly with this recipe, but if you can’t find capon at your local butcher shop, you can use chicken. A lot of great organic farms raise capons, which are delicious with the organic
wine paired with this dish. Serve this dish with plenty of crusty bread to sop up the
delicious juices. Reprinted from Wine Mondays by Frank McClelland and Christie Matheson, © The Harvard Common Press Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.