Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Eve Feast

Not the most attractive of posed shots;
I suppose we could have at least finished setting the table!
Merry Christmas!

This year I am working over the Christmas holiday so I did the overnight on the 23rd and will work overnight tonight.  That left Christmas eve and morning so we had our "feast" last night.  Tonight we will have macaroni and cheese, but homemade, at least!

I had wanted to roast a duck but we got to the store and there were no ducks.  There were pheasants, so we decided to try that instead.  I combined a few recipes I found on the net and roasted 2 very tasty pheasants.  Here's how:

First the pheasants were brined for about 6 hours.  To make the brine I boiled 4 cups of water, 1/2 cup kosher salt, 6 bay leaves, and 2 T. sugar together and then soaked the pheasants in that.  They were then taken out, dried, and set in the fridge until the next day.   Each was stuffed with a small onion, a quarter of an apple and some sage and then bacon was draped over the breasts.  Then the birds were trussed and roasted for 15 minutes at 500 degrees.  After that, I dropped the oven temperature to 325-350 (hard to tell since my oven isn't very accurate) and roasted them for an additional 60 minutes or so, until the meat thermometer said 150.  About halfway through, I drizzled them with maple syrup.

Once they rested for 15 minutes they were carved.  I served them with red bliss potatoes, purple potatoes, carrots and parsnips roasted with thyme and rosemary.

Now we have some leftover pheasant meat in the fridge and bones in the freezer and a plan to make stock or soup in the near future.  Maybe pheasant will work as well as duck for a variation of the turducken soup?

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