Try something different: Game Christmas recipe

PUBLISHED: 12:30 19 December 2016 | UPDATED: 12:30 19 December 2016

Photo by Guy Harrop/Taste Of Game. Pic of Chef Tim Maddams preparing game dishes, UK.

image copyright guy harrop
07866 464282

Photo by Guy Harrop/Taste Of Game. Pic of Chef Tim Maddams preparing game dishes, UK. image copyright guy harrop 07866 464282

image copyright © guy harrop

For an alternative Christmas dish, why not opt for some game? Tim Maddams has a couple of suggestions which may just tempt even those die hard turkey fans

Serves 2

Pheasant, 1 whole, plucked and dressed

Pork or goose/duck fat,

a little

Salt and pepper

Sage leaves, a few

For the gravy:

Dark game stock, 1l (chicken stock will do)

Dry cider, 1 glass

Roasting juices from the pheasant pan

1 First make sure your bird is not fridge cold; take it out of the fridge about an hour or so before cooking and if your kitchen is exceptionally cold, leave it near the warmest part of the room.

2 Preheat the oven to 200°c/gas 6.

3 Rub a little fat on to the bird and season it heavily. I also like to place a few sage leaves inside the cavity and under the breast skin. Don’t be tempted to tie the bird up - this simply impedes the speed at which the legs will cook and encourages overcooking of the breast meat.

4 Select a solid frying pan that will go in the oven. Get the pan hot on the stove and add a little fat. Place the bird on its spine in the pan and cook it on a medium-hot heat - you don’t want it to burn, but you do want to get some colour and you definitely want to release the flavour of the bird.

5 When the back has coloured, brown each side in the same way before returning it to its back. Place it, in the frying pan, in the oven. It shouldn’t need more than about 15 minutes - you are looking for the breasts to firm up nicely.

6 Take out and leave uncovered, somewhere warm, to rest for about half an hour, but 15 minutes will do if needs be.

7 Serve with your choice of sides, though I would recommend a well spiced bread sauce and some game chips. It’s a very traditional sort of dish, but none the worse for that.

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