Roasted Pheasant and Apple Salad with Cracked Pepper-Cider Dressing



Serves 6


For Pheasant

1 pheasant (2½ - 2¾ lbs.) dressed and legs removed

¾ cup molasses

¼ cup hot sauce

1 small piece ginger, peeled

1 shallot

1 clove garlic

1 tablespoon salad oil


Place molasses, hot sauce, ginger, shallot and garlic in a blender and puree on high, adding oil gradually to emulsify.  Reserve ¼ cup of marinade. Place pheasant in a large bowl, breast down, and pour remaining marinade over pheasant. Cover, and refrigerate for 1½ to 2 hours.


For Salad

1 tart crisp apple (Haralson, Granny Smith, Cortland), julienned

1 small jicama, julienned

1 fennel bulb, julienned

½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped

1 cup chopped chicories (frisee, radicchio, endive)

1 tablespoon chiffonade of flat leaf parsley

½ lime, juiced


Clean and chop chicories into large bowl and cover with cold water.  In a small bowl, put julienne apple, fennel, and jicama and mix with lime juice.  Cover and reserve for plate presentation


For Dressing

1 ½ cup fresh pressed cider                                   

1 small piece ginger, sliced           

1 piece whole star anise

½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup sour cream

½ of lime, zest and juice

1 small shallot, minced

Aged red wine vinegar


Salt and Fresh Cracked Pepper


Make a reduction with the apple cider by placing the cider, ginger, shallot and star anise in a non-reactive pot.  Reduce by simmering to ¼ cup volume.  Remove from heat, strain, and cool.  Reserve.  Mix mayonnaise and sour cream in a bowl with the lime juice and zest.  Add cooled cider reduction and mix.  Season to taste with red wine vinegar, salt, cracked pepper and sugar if necessary.  Cover and refrigerate


Assemble Plate

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat.  Remove pheasant from marinade and season with salt.  Place pheasant in pan, on single breast, and sear until crisp.  Turn to other breast, and repeat.  Place in oven and cook to internal temperature of 140 - 145 degrees.  (about 10 - 15 minutes).  Remove from pan, and let rest 15 minutes.  Assemble salad by draining chicories.  Add the julienned apple mix and enough dressing to coat well when tossed.  Adjust seasoning if needed.  Remove breasts from cage and slice.  Divide evenly amongst 6 plates, top with salad, and garnish each plate with reserved marinade, dressing, chopped walnuts and parsley.  Serve.