As I type the house is filling with the lovely lemony smell of this fab but simple dish! In case you’re wondering the photos you see here are of a previous incarnation – known in the trade as one that I made earlier!
Being a Norfolk country girl pheasant has always been a favourite of mine. When I was a child my Dad used to go shooting and pheasant (along with pigeon was a family favourite). Many people find pheasant rather strong and gamey but I think that this recipe cuts through that with lovely light and zingy flavours. I have adapted it from a recipe in the late, great Keith Floyd. Oh and in case you’re interested my Dad doesn’t shoot any more but those you see here were bagged by my cousin Karl!
2 pheasants jointed into eight pieces each
50g (2oz) plain flour
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
12-16 cloves of garlic, roughly crushed
A handful of olives
For the marinade
4—5 cloves of garlic, crushed
Sprigs of fresh lemon thyme and oregano Juice of 3 lemons
Freshly ground black pepper
1 wineglass of fino sherry or dry white wine
In a shallow dish marinate the pieces of pheasant with a 6 or so cloves the crushed garlic, the herbs, the juice the lemons and the sherry. Season with salt and pepper and leave for at least 3 hours.
Using a slotted spoon, lift the pheasant pieces from the marinade (reserving the liquid) and dredge them in the flour. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the pieces for about 5 minutes in batches , until they are golden brown then transfer them to a casserole or Spanish terracotta cooking dish.
Add the cloves of roughly crushed garlic to the frying pan; add the marinade, another glug of sherry, (and maybe one for yourself!), the olives and a large wine glass of water. Bubble up the pour over the pheasant. Cook in a moderate (180 degrees /gas make 4) oven for about an hour and a half until the pheasant is lovely and browned and the exposed skin is slightly crispy. I like to serve with crushed potatoes with either mint and or rosemary and green veg but it would work very well with crusty bread and a green salad.