Sunday, April 20, 2014

In anticipation of the coming season's harvest...

At this time of year, I scour the freezer for any remnants of last year's ducks and pheasants. The past couple of weeks I've enjoyed pheasant salad for lunch at the office; not many people in the jungle of office buildings I work in get to do that I suspect.

Pheasant Salad

You guys can work out the greens, etc for yourself; but here's how I do my pheasant so that it remains moist.

For a start, I've been brining the birds prior to freezing, so that they take on a whole lot of liquid and freeze better. Place your de-frosted, rinsed and dried bird breast up on chopping board. Using cleaver or big F-off knife, split the bird along breast, peel open and cut down backbone so your bird's 'spatchcocked'. Do a couple of birds at one time.

Take wide flat pan, add olive oil, a bit of garlic salt, and fresh thyme which you've just plucked from your herb garden. Or dried stuff if cats have gotten into your herb garden and shat it to death. Heat the pan to medium high heat, and place your bird into it, skin down. Cook until nicely browned and then turn bird over. Same on other side. Do second bird. Reserve yummy seasoned oil from pan.

Into good sized sauce pan, put a rough chopped onion, 3 cloves garlic, 3 juniper berries, some chopped up celery, a smackeral of paprika, the reserved oil, 3 bay leaves and heat until the onion is soft. By now yummy smells have filled the house - yeah boi!

Add pheasants skin side up, cover half of birds with apple juice, then top up with water and a chicken stock cube. Chop up an apple and stuff it in there. In fact you could chuck anything you like in at this stage as long as it goes with the theme. I biffed in a capsicum.

Now bring mixture to a boil, and then whack the heat down to low, so we have a simmer. I leave this on low heat all day, checking now and again. At least 4 hours on low does it, but I've gone longer. You'll know when it's done, because meat will fall off bone.

leave to cool, then drain. Flake meat into container with some of the stock. Put legs to one side for a snack, even with sinews removed they aren't great salad material.

Boom, now you've got a week's worth of pheasant salad materials.

a few hours of cooking to go

Duck Satay

I fluked this recipe when I was stuck for something to take to a pot luck dinner. It rocks. Take your duck (which freeze much better than pheasants) and rinse out the cavity and pat dry with paper towel. I stuff my birds with sage & onion stuffing. Put birds into oven bag (this is super important - if you've ever been served a dried up baked duck you'll know what I mean..), and get your orange 'splashing sauce' which you spent way too much for down at the fresh food market, and splash it on. If no sauce just get good old marmalade, and rub it one. Into oven bag with some liquid (again super important - orange juice is good) and into oven for a couple hours at 170 degrees.

In other words, cook your duck as you normally would. Near end of cooking, prepare your satay sauce as follows;

Go here for super easy really yummy sauce recipe

I'm not going to reinvent wheel with my own attempt at a sauce that's been made for a zillion years!

Take cooked duck from oven, and break into halves, or if you can be stuffed, break right down by taking meat from bone. Drown in satay sauce and BOOM! That's the shizzle right there.

Ducks in oven - sizzle shizzle!

1 comment:

  1. fark your oven is clean... you need to grill more!