The Last pheasants of the season! (and how they became pheasant curry)

My Finance went away to Norfolk to stay with some friends and shoot quantities of game. Although I do not enjoy having to chop my own wood for the fire, it’s very easy to forgive him when he comes back with a boot full of fantastic game. This trip was no different and as well as the usual pheasants and ducks he also produced an entire muntjack deer and some geese. I hope to blog a little in due course about all these things but today it’s pheasants.

I must admit I’m not a massive fan of pheasant, its always the thing we have most of and its so easy to get board of it. When I first started cooking I would always roast game, thinking that this was the easiest and simplest way to enjoy it, so that everyone would appreaciate the flavours of the meat in their purest form. Pheasant, however, likes to dry itself out when it’s being roasted and you end up laying it over with such bacon that it starts to taste a little porky.

ImageWith these chaps, the final offerings of what has been a pretty fruitful season (from my perspective at least) I decided that I would make some curry. I really like game curry, partly to do with the fact that I really like curry and partly to do with the fact that game really adds a deepness to the flavour. Pheasant is a particularly good meat to do like this, the usual issues of the meat drying out are just not relevant here and where chicken can be a little bland the pheasant retains its punch.

The other advantage of currying the pheasants is that you don’t have to pluck them, just breast them, which with these guys was very quick and easy.

I took the breasts and diced them then added a selection of spices from the cupboard and left them to marinade in the fridge for about 4 hours. It should probably have been longer but I was just too impatient. The marinade was made from:

  • finely chopped garlicImage
  • grated fresh ginger
  • garam masala
  • cumin
  • cardamon pods
  • turmeric
  • Cayenne pepper
  • paprika

Admittedly, I did sort of make this up as I went along it was based on things that have worked before and what I had to hand.

Once marinated the whole thing went into the pan for searing, then I added a few chopped tomatoes, half a tin of coconut milk and a good handful of ground almonds.

I must admit this turn out pretty delicious, the way that the marinade spices combine themselves with the pheasant is just brilliant.

Sadly we won’t be getting any more pheasants until October when the season kicks off again. Right now that feels like a very long time…

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