Grilled pheasants with rouille

This pheasant recipe serves four people

Ingredients for this pheasant recipe

2 butterflied/ spatchcocked pheasants – cut them through the backbone with a sharp pair of scissors

A little rapeseed oil

4 sprigs of thyme

Salt

For the rouille for this pheasant recipe

About 100g fresh bread crumbs – you may need a little more or less depending on the bread you use.

2-3 tbsp water

1 fat clove of garlic, roughly chopped

Maldon salt

A pinch of cayenne pepper

3 tbsp rapeseed oil

A delicious pheasant recipe to warm the winter evenings.

Method

First make the rouille.

Combine the breadcrumbs and water and set aside.

Mash the garlic with half a teaspoon of salt and the cayenne pepper, then add the wet breadcrumbs.

Drizzle in the oil slowly stirring constantly to emulsify.

This can be made up to a week in advance.

Heat an ovenproof griddle pan until it is smoking.

Rub the pheasants with the oil and thyme leaves then seal them in the pan on both sides.

What you want is the charred grill marks on the birds.

When you have sealed off the birds, season with some salt, and cook in a pre-heated oven (220°C) for about 25 minutes, or until they are cooked through.

When they are done leave them to rest for about 10 minutes.

Any of the juices that are left in the pan should be poured into the rouille.

Recommended drink for this pheasant recipe

A full bodied, yet well-priced Côtes du Rhône is my choice to match Amy’s pheasant recipe.

Some of the world’s most appealing wines come from the Rhône Valley in southern France and Château de l’Estagnol is an excellent example, made almost entirely of Grenache and syrah grapes.

The grapes that define the Rhône include Grenache and syrah and by law Grenache must make up a minimum of 40 per cent of any red blend in the southern part of the region.

The 2009 Château de l’Estagnol (£8.25) is a deep crimson red with a mix of dark ripe fruit and spice on the nose and is full-bodied and warm on the palate, with hints of pepper and rustic herbs.

A sip or two may even transport you south for the winter!

Château de l’Estagnol 2009 is available from the small, but very fine, wine merchant Medina Wines on the Isle of Wight. Contact 01983 761058.

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