Friday, October 2, 2009

Pheasants Forever...tasty

For those who know me well, know that I really enjoy Geocaching, which is a "techie" hobby that uses a GPS to hunt and find hidden caches all over the world. As an aside, I also have a strong affinity for Garmin GPS units, owning at least a half dozen different units. Currently I'm using the Garmin Colorado 300, and I really like it.

Anyway, I was recently contacted by a fellow geocacher because I found his geocache on my way home from Lewistown, Montana and the Montana Trappers Rendezvous (see previous post). His cache is set up as a fundraising tool for non-profit organizations. According to his criteria, I had earned the honor to choose next year's beneficiary for money raised in the cache.

I thought long and hard about an appropriate organization. I settled on Pheasants Forever, primarily because I had such fond memories of pheasant hunting in that area a couple years ago.

It also seemed appropriate that I include a delicious recipe for pheasant in this week's posting. This recipe is a modified version of an Emeril Lagasse offering on Food Network.

Roasted Pheasant with Citrus-Jack Sauce

1/4 cup Jack Daniels
2 oranges, cut into 1/8ths
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 (2 to 2 1/2-pound) pheasants
Freshly ground black pepper
6 slices bacon, halved

Citrus-Jack Sauce:
1 cup Jack Daniels
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons grated orange zest
1 cup red currant jelly
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne
Serving suggestion: Wild rice

For the pheasant: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a bowl, toss the oranges with 3 tablespoons of the Jack Daniels. Rub the pheasants with the remaining 1 tablespoon of whisky and lightly season with salt and pepper. Stuff each pheasant with the oranges and 1 sprig of fresh thyme, and close the cavities with skewers. Wrap the breast of each pheasant with the bacon and set in a roasting pan. Roast the pheasants until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees F., about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes.

For the Citrus-Jack Sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the whisky, orange juice, and orange zest, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by 50 percent in volume to about 3/4 cup. Add the currant jelly, salt, and cayenne, and stir well.

Cook until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a decorative bowl. Cool slightly before serving.

Remove the bacon from the pheasant breasts, if desired, and cut each bird in half. Discard the oranges and thyme in the cavity. Serve hot with Ctirus-Jack Sauce and wild rice.

Photo: National Geographic

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