Oven Roast Pheasant and Pumpkin-Molasses Purée, served on a Sauce of Apples, Tequila and Ancho Chiles with Crispy Tortilla Relis
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Season each bird inside and out with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a flat roasting pan large
enough to hold the birds. Sear birds for 6 minutes or until brown on all sides. Place pan in
oven and roast pheasants for 20 to 25 minutes. Baste birds with pan juices at least twice
during roasting. Remove pheasants from oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes
When birds are cool enough to handle, remove leg and thigh quarters from breasts. Separate
drumsticks and thighs at joint. Make a slit on the underside of the thigh along the length of the
thigh bone and remove bones. Reserve boneless thighs. If desired, use drumsticks and thigh
bones for pheasant stock (for the Sauce of Apples, Tequila and Ancho Chiles.) Slice the
boneless thighs and reconstruct in original shape. Keep warm.
Remove the breast meat from the carcasses to make 2 boneless halves from each breast. Use
the sharp point of a knife to cut between the meat and the bones, starting at the widest part of
the breast; separate each half. Prior removal of the wishbone and wings will make this easier.
Peel off the skin and slice each breast against the grain, starting with the thicker end. Slice very
thin pieces and keep in the shape of breast halves.
Spoon a portion of Pumpkin-Molasses Purée into the middle of each of four hot dinner plates
and arrange slices of breast and thigh meat to form a circle on top of the purée. Surround the
pheasant with a ring of Sauce of Apples, Tequila and Ancho Chiles. Place a small portion of
Crispy Tortilla Relish to the side of the pheasant. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro and serve.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place pumpkin halves on a baking sheet and place in oven. Bake for 40 minutes or until pumpkin
is very soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, peel off outer skin
of pumpkin and cut pumpkin into small chunks. Set aside.
Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, carefully add molasses to pan,
shaking as you pour. Molasses will bubble and smoke. Continue slowly shaking pan to keep liquid
from burning and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until molasses is just about to caramelize or burn.
Immediately remove from heat. Slowly stir orange juice into hot molasses. Add pumpkin and remaining
ingredients and return to medium heat. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
Remove cinnamon stick.
Pour pumpkin mixture into a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process until thick and smooth.
Check seasoning. If pumpkin mixture is not thick, return to heat and simmer until reduced, stirring
occasionally. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Sauce of Apples, Tequila and Ancho Chiles
Place anchos in warm water to cover and allow to stand for 20 minutes. Drain and reserve.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a saucepot over medium heat. When hot, add onion and sauté for 3
minutes. Add Granny Smith apples, 3 anchos, garlic, serranos, almonds, cinnamon stick, coriander
and anise and sauté for 3 more minutes. Add pheasant bones and stock and bring to a boil. Lower
heat and simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick and all pheasant bones.
Pour mixture into a blender and process until smooth. Strain through a coarse strainer and reserve.
Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon corn oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. When hot, add
Delicious apple slices and sauté for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Cut the 2 remaining anchos into
1/4-inch dice and add to apples along with 2 cups of the reserved spiced apple sauce, cilantro and
tequila. Season with salt and lime juice. Serve immediately.
Crispy Tortilla Relish
Combine all ingredients and toss well. Serve immediately.
Whisk all ingredients together until well blended.