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Fall: A time for family and pheasant

When I was a kid, fall was the time of year I looked forward to most. As summer faded and August came to an end, football returned to TV. The leaves would start to change colors. You could start to hope for snow (and snow days!) and, even if they...

Goldammer, Tim (1).JPG
Chef Tim Goldammer, Instructor

When I was a kid, fall was the time of year I looked forward to most. As summer faded and August came to an end, football returned to TV. The leaves would start to change colors. You could start to hope for snow (and snow days!) and, even if they came in October, you didn't hate them. But probably the best part of the fall for me was hunting with my family.

The end of October meant loading all the kids into the car. We could spend hours walking through fields, hoping to find pheasants and other birds. Many of us have the same memories: the joy of getting your first bird, especially if it was bigger than your brother's; taking it home and learning the art of cleaning your prize; trying to get as many of the pellets as you could find because you only need to bite down once to know why that is important.

Delivering the cleaned birds to the kitchen provided the hunter and cook with a lot of different options. My family always attempted to get the most flavor as quickly as possible in the shortest time possible.

I have used my culinary experience to develop a favorite recipe that achieves just that. I hope after a successful day in the fall fields, you will try this option and enjoy time around the table, recounting your hunt with family and friends.

Faisan au Vin (Pheasant in Wine)

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Equipment needed: a slow cooker, insta-pot, or pressure cooker; a skillet, preferably cast iron

Ingredients

• 2 pheasants, cleaned and rinsed

• Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

• 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

• 4 tablespoons grape seed oil

• 4 tablespoons butter (NOT margarine)

• 1 clove garlic, mashed

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• 1 cup onion, finely chopped into quarter-inch pieces

• 1 cup Riesling or another kind of slightly sweet white wine (Be sure to ask your wife before you take her wine.)

• 1 tablespoon sugar

• 1 small can mushrooms chopped into quarter-inch pieces

• 1 cup vegetable broth

Preparation

1. Quarter the pheasants, cleaning all meat from bones, and cut into 1-inch cubes. (This allows you to get all the shot out.) Lay the meat out evenly across a surface and coat with salt and pepper on all sides.

2. Place your pheasant pieces in the flour, then remove, shaking off excess. (This process is called dredging.)

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3. Heat the grape seed oil and butter together in the skillet over medium heat. Brown your pheasant pieces, stirring and turning frequently. Remove the pheasant from the skillet and place in the cooker.

4. Mash the garlic clove and add it to the skillet juices, add the onion, Riesling, sugar, mushrooms, and broth. Heat to a boil and then reduce heat to medium for five minutes.

5. Pour over the pheasant. At this point, the cooker insert or pressure cooker pot may be cooled down and refrigerated overnight. When you are ready to cook, proceed with the following steps:

6. Slow Cooker: Cook covered for 7 hours on Low setting.

Insta-Pot: Use the "Meat" button and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of your Insta-Pot.

Pressure Cooker: Turn your stove heat on high, cook at pressure for 20 minutes, remove from heat and let pressure release from pan slowly.

Your delicious pheasant is now ready to serve with your favorite rice, potatoes or noodles.

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