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Well, I got a fresh pheasant at Quattro on Friday.

 

Roasted it, after much conversation with several people, much research.

 

Pancetta on the breast, blah blah blah. Did everything right.

 

It was tough, chewy...and not all that flavorful. I think this is a bird that calls for braising, not roasting.

 

Thoughts?

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Well, I got a fresh pheasant at Quattro on Friday.   Roasted it, after much conversation with several people, much research.   Pancetta on the breast, blah blah blah. Did everything right.  

I have wanted to buy a duck press for a while. I learned from Lucas Carton that they sold the duck press they used to have in their dining room to another customer, and I was too late. This one look

deco - http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1303/A130301/13076679/   la chasse - http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1307/A130701/13025071/   takajo kotobuki - legendary but very hard to book - http://tabelog.com/toky

By their nature there is a lot of variation from bird to bird, but even with braising they tend to be quite dry. Have cooked ~100 of the buggers in the last four years, think they are the weakest of the game birds.

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We roasted three of them Saturday night, from Quattro's as well. The white meat was tasty, but chewy. The dark meat required teeth line iron and was barely edible. the red cabbage and rice with it filled ot the plate. We assumed a braised specimen with loit's of liquid would work best. The 1999 Cornas (Verset) was the most delicious part of the meal.

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If the meat is chewy then it is more likely to be due to the way the birds were treated pre-cooking (hanging times, fresh or frozen etc, sinews left in the legs).

 

The meat doesn't seem to have much internal fat, although the birds will have large amounts of bright yellow surface fat at certain times of the year. Not sure why they are so intrinsically dry of flesh, partridges, quail and grouse are low in fat, but these have juice filled flesh when cooked.

 

The best use I have found for them is cooked in a terrine. I find that large amounts of pig fat sorts out the dryness issue.

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Found this tip from a game cooking guru:

 

Meet Chef John, the 'Game Gourmet'

 

Upland game bird cooking tips

 

"The No. 1 question I get from Boston to L.A. is how to fix pheasant," said Schumacher. "Pheasant poses problems because it is very fat free and therefore you can't cook it like chicken, which has fat."

 

Pheasant is best prepared in small pieces, sautéed and cooked on low temperatures for long periods.

 

Grilling game birds is almost impossible without adding moisture, such as bacon strips.

 

Game birds with dark breast meat, such as sharptail grouse, should be prepared similar to pheasant.

 

Waterfowl breast has more fat content than pheasant and, thus, can be cooked fast and short or long and slow.

 

Wild duck cooked whole in deep fat fryer will maintain moisture inside with crispness outside. Ideal oil temperature is about 350 degrees. If too hot, the bird will burn outside; if too cool, the oil will be absorbed.

 

Always check breasts to remove birdshot.

 

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Also were are these birds originally from? The pheasant season in the UK is 1st Sept to 31st Jan, so if these are Scottish birds for instance they will be pushing 10 months being frozen.

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I have a recipe somewhere that involves slowly stewing the legs in fat (goose or duck sounds like a good idea) and making rillettes out of them and separately searing/roasting the breast. Works pretty well.

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I must have written about this on eG a couple of years ago, but I found the quattro pheasant to be particularly bad (as is their duck) - I used it in the same ragu recipe as I did pheasant purchased from one of the no-longer-operational vendors in GCT and while the GCT bird was moist and very nicely gamey, the quattro one came out bland, tough and dry.

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Correct. I stopped buying birds from Quattro some time back, because this is the standard quality they offer. I may be wrong, but I have the impression that the birds are often frozen, which will make them even tougher. So, avoid Quattro. If you can't, then brine the bird in water with a two parts salt to one part brown sugar for twenty-four hours.

 

As for the pheasants, aren't they domestic, farmed pheasants?

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Guest Adam Lawrence
The pheasant I bought on Friday was fresh - killed several hours earlier.

Might not that be the source of the problem? Pheasant needs to hang for a while, I understand.

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The pheasant I bought on Friday was fresh - killed several hours earlier.

Might not that be the source of the problem? Pheasant needs to hang for a while, I understand.

Quite. Hang them by the neck. When the body falls off they're ready.

 

At least that's what my college neighbor, Rodney Morgan-Giles, did whenever he'd bagged a brace. Did stink up the kitchen, though.

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