Tonight we dined on Basque Pheasant prepared in the Schlemmertopf, our German clay pot cookware. We blogged about clay pot cooking last month and have been experimenting with various recipes over the last month. Lisa remembered a recipe for pheasant that I found in my wild game cookbook last year and asked if we could try it in the Schlemmertopf.
The pheasant was a result of the autumn hunt, but you could try this with game hens too. The recipe turns out quite well with a slight modification for the clay pot.
Basque Pheasant – The Basque region is in the southern part of France, adjoining Spain; Basque cooking reflects both French and Spanish influence. Serve this dish with noodles or brown rice, and a spinach salad.
2 -4 pheasants, cut up or whole
1/3 to 2/3 cup packed brown sugar (adjust depending on the number of birds used)
3/4 cup white wine
1/2 to 3/4 cup olive oil (adjust depending on the number of birds used)
1/2 cup brown rice vinegar
1 cup pitted medium prunes
1 cup pitted medium Spanish green olives (not stuffed – kalamata olives are a good substitute)
1/4 to 1/2 cup capers, with liquid
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley (or more if desired)
2 tablespoons dried basil leaves
1 cup crimini mushroooms
Arrange pheasants in a glass casserole. In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, wine, oil, and vinegar; stir to mix. Add remaining ingredients. Stir to
combine. Pour mixture over pheasant pieces; cover the dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight, turning pheasants a couple times.
Place the pheasant in the Schlemmertopf (or Römertopf) and pour the marinade over the top. Cover and place the Schlemmertopf in the oven at 425 degrees F for one hour. Transfer pheasant, olives, and prunes to platter with slotted spoon if desired.
You will be surprised at the flavor of this recipe. It will delight your taste buds with a sweet and tangy experience. Somehow the combination of ingredients produce a true surprise that even your kids may enjoy!
Do you have a favorite bird recipe that you think we should try in the Schlemmertopf? Please share it in the comments. If you don’t have the clay pot cookware, you can make the same recipe by baking it in your casserole dish for an hour at 350 F. If you try it, please comment back as we’d love to hear what you think.