|Dried Shiitake Mushrooms|
|Assembled casserole, before baking|
|Rich, serving his pheasant creation|
Okay, so now we had a working idea and had started prepping. Rich chopped an onion, a carrot and 2 stalks of celery, along with about 6 or 8 large cloves of garlic. I sautéed that mixture in a frying pan in olive oil until they were wilted, then removed that to a large roaster pan, spread over the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile, Rich blotted all the pheasant and chicken pieces dry with paper toweling, then sprinkled with salt and pepper and I followed with browning all the pheasant and chicken pieces, which were then removed to the roaster pan, in one layer. We removed the stems from the soaked mushrooms and sliced them, strewing them over the meats. I sprinkled in about a teaspoon of juniper berries, and then the bread crumbs. Over top of this I evenly sprinkled the wild rice, then the white rice and then the brown rice. Rich was interested in a smoky flavor element, so I sprinkled on 1 1/2 teaspoons of smoked paprika (Pimenton de la Vera).
|Pheasant Chicken Casserole with Three Rices|
Back in the frying pan, I added about 1 1/2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves and a cup of dry white wine, cooking quickly over high heat, stirring up all the browned bits in the bottom, to reduce to less than a half cup, total. We added in the mushroom soaking water and the wild rice cooking water and cooked briskly to reduce to about 2 or 2 1/2 cups of total liquid. To this we added 2 cups of heavy cream, off the heat. After tasting, we added another teaspoon of salt to the sauce. I poured this sauce over the whole casserole, covered the pot and baked it for 1 1/2 hours at 325 degrees.
It may have taken a while to assemble, but I have only one word for the outcome. YUM! The casserole was unctuous from the cream and perfectly flavored. The smoked paprika was just enough to give that hint of smokiness without overwhelming. The pheasant was absolutely not gamy though it retained the flavor of a wild bird, and it was very tender. Both the pheasant and the chicken were juicy and perfect. It may have taken a while to assemble, but oh great heavens, it was good.
My passion is to teach people how to create a harmony of flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things weekly. Join me at A Harmony of Flavors Website and Marketplace, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. I am also on a spiritual journey and hope you will join me at my new blog, An Eagle Flies.