If you fancy something different this Christmas, and like the idea of freeing yourself from spending hours slaving over a hot stove, try roasting a pheasant for a change. This delicious game bird is a fabulous alternative to the traditional turkey for lots of reasons. Not only is it a very quick to cook, it's fashionable, delicious and extremely healthy.
Try this simple recipe from Lawrence Keogh, head chef at Roast, a restaurant in London's most fashionable food market of Borough. It makes an interesting, seasonal change.
Roast pheasant with sherry glazed parsnips and chestnuts
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 1 pheasant (a hen if possible)
- 800g parsnips cut into 3inch / 7cm batons, woody core removed
- 250ml dry sherry
- 100g butter
- 80g soft brown sugar
- 10 roasted, peeled chestnuts, crushed
- ½ bunch chopped flat leaf parsley
- ½ bunch watercress
- sea salt and freshly milled pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC.
Peel parsnips and chop to roughly the size of your finger. Mix together dry sherry, butter, sugar and salt and pepper. Place in an earthenware dish or roasting tray and bake until tender, a matter of some 25 minutes or so.
Season bird thoroughly inside and out and roast in the oven for approx 20-25 mins until cooked. It is perfectly healthy to eat a pheasant slightly pink – if over-cooked it will dry out and be unpleasant. Let it rest for a few minutes while the parsnips finish cooking.
Remove parsnips pan once done and allow liquid to bubble down slightly before popping in chestnuts and parsley. Serve slices of pheasant with parsnips and watercress on the side.