1 large pheasant
150g pearl barley
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 a medium celeriac
a few chopped sage leaves
a generous pinch of thyme leaves (if available)
1.25 litre of chicken stock
(homemade or fresh, if possible)
a bunch of rainbow chard
a handful of blackberries
a generous splash of port
- Preheat the oven to 200C. Place the pheasant on a rack with an oven tray underneath. (If this is not possible, a frying pan will suffice.) Drizzle a little olive oil over the bird and rub it with salt and pepper to season. Place it in the oven and set a timer to 15 minutes. After this, baste the bird with fat from the pan and return to the oven for 15 minutes.
- When the pheasant has gone into the oven, dice the onion into 1cm pieces and finely chop the garlic or push it through a press. Place a large saucepan onto a medium heat and add a little olive oil. When the oil has warmed, add the garlic. After 20 seconds has passed, follow with the onion, then sweat it down on medium to low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- While the onion is cooking, peel and cut your celeriac to the same size as the onion. Add this to the pan when the onion is translucent and cooked. Once everything is coated in oil, add the pearl barley, sage, thyme and 1 litre of chicken stock, then simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Finish it all with a knob of butter if you wish.
- Now, cut your rainbow chard stalks off and chop them the same size as the onion and celeriac. Cook for 5 minutes before everything else is ready to serve by boiling the chard in lightly salted water (stalks in first) for 5 minutes. The leaves will just take 3 minutes, and you can toss in the butter when ready.
- When the pheasant timer sounds, remove it from the oven and place it on a chopping board. Lightly cover the bird with tin foil, to keep it warm, and then let it rest for a while.
- Place the roasting tray or pan on a low heat and deglaze it with a generous splash of port. Reduce this by half and then add 250ml of chicken stock and your blackberries. Continue to simmer this until it is reduced by half and has a sauce-like consistency.
- Remove the legs from the pheasant just like a roast chicken, and carve off the breast, slicing each one on the diagonal angle into three pieces.
- Divide your finished pearl barley between each plate and place a pheasant leg on top. Add your cooked chard to the other side of the plate and place your sliced breast on top of that.
- Finish the dish by pouring sauce over the breast and around the plate. Garnish it with halved raw blackberries and a few small chard leaves and serve.
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