Thursday, January 1, 2009

Pheasant Risotto with Chantrelle Mushrooms

I know I’ve been very slack on posting recipes and all of my hunting buddies have been letting me know it. They have pleaded with me to post the dishes that I’ve had them over to enjoy the last few months. So here is the first of many to come. And guys, I pledge to try and do better.

I enjoy cooking immensely, but time is usually the enemy for preparing advanced dishes. Plus, to be honest, most of my buddies are not completely comfortable with cooking unless it involves a BBQ. So I’ve committed to them to develop and share recipes that are simple, straight-forward and don’t take a lot of time to prepare. Something they can be successful with first time out of the gate.

This approach recently paid off when one of my hunting partners shared his enthusiasm for having successfully preparing the Seared Duck with Asian Pear Reduction I posted a few months ago for his Thanksgiving appetizer.

This simplified approach to preparing game will hopefully encourage other hunters who have not been comfortable in the kitchen with venturing out a bit. For any of you willing to try, be sure to let me know how it comes out.

This one is a new invention and is wonderful comfort food for the gray, cloudy days of winter. Surprisingly it isn’t a duck recipe (shocking I know), but rather pheasant, which we have several in the freezer from hunts earlier this year. Don’t let the length of this recipe intimidate you, it’s really simple to prepare, just takes a bit longer to write out!

Pheasant Risotto with Chantrelle Mushrooms
2-3 pheasant breasts
4 cups chicken stock (that’s chicken broth guys)
1 1/2 ounces Chantrelle mushrooms wiped clean (If you cannot find Chantrelle, you can substitute cubed porcini, portobello or even regular button mushrooms. Ask the produce person to point you in the right direction).
1/2 – 3/4 cup frozen peas
Olive oil
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (which is just another name for risotto rice)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (fresh grated, not from that little green can in the refrigerator door guys)
3/4 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Prepare Pheasant Breasts:
Rub a small amount of olive oil over both sides of breasts and sprinkle with Kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and an all purpose seasoning such as Emeril’s Essence.

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, adding the breasts just when they sizzle when entering the pan. Turn down the heat to medium, turning the breasts once after approximately 8-10 minutes, depending on thickness. When the juice from the breasts runs clear, remove from pan and set breasts aside on a small plate.

Prepare Risotto:
In a medium saucepan, bring the 4 cups of chicken stock to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low.

In the same saucepan as you cooked the breasts, melt 2 more tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent and tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.

Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter mixture. Stir rice constantly and heat for 3 minutes.

Add the white wine and simmer until the wine has almost evaporated, about 3-5 minutes.

On medium-high heat, add 1/2 cup of warmed chicken broth and stir constantly until almost completely absorbed. Repeat, adding 1/2 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed, until the rice is tender on the outside but still undercooked in the middle. You should have about 1 cup of stock remaining. This should take approximately 15 minutes.

Coarsely chop mushrooms (or cube if not using Chantrelle). Add the mushrooms and peas to the rice, which will balance each other out for moisture. The peas will add water and the mushrooms will absorb it. Cook for a few more minutes until the moisture content settles and the mushrooms begin to soften.

Add the remaining stock, stirring constantly until the rice is tender throughout and the mixture is creamy, approximately another 10 minutes. Keep tasting the rice to find out when it is done.

When done, remove the pan from the heat and cover while you return to the pheasant breasts, cutting each one into approximately 1 inch cubes. Add the pheasant breast to the risotto rice and return to heat to re-warm.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese; salt and pepper to taste. Stir to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Remove from heat and transfer the risotto to a serving bowl. Top with Feta cheese. Serve immediately.

Give this stick-to-your-ribs comfort food recipe a try and let me know how it comes out! Bon Appetite.


Terry Scoville said...

Hey that sure sounds good and I just happen to have one big fat Pheasant left. Thanks Jon and Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

Oh this sounds awesome. I'm a big fan of pheasant.

And, speaking as a single woman, I think men who can cook are the best! A guy who made me this for dinner would definitely win some major points. I'm guessing I'm not the only woman who thinks like that.

Just a thought, guys.

Dazy said...

I'm making this for dinner tonight. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!

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Anonymous said...

Happened to pheasant roast leftovers, a big bag of mushrooms and some risotto rice. Googled - and got the perfect idea from you - thanks! It will be our dinner tonight - first of the New Year (another one without using that green tub in the fridge door...).

Happy New Year to all!


Anonymous said...

A great success! Many thanks. My first risotto ever... Does life have any more challenges for me now?


How2begin said...

Celebrating a wonderful Royal Wedding Day, with what hopefully will be a Fabulous Evening Meal for us all, Many Thanks for the recipe - Can't wait to enjoy X

Helen Ruebel said...

I made a few changes but it turned out fantastic. Morels, aged gouda, no onion, double garlic and no Feta.