Pheasant for Thanksgiving - brine? favorite recipes?
With just four of us, I am going a bit more upscale with the menu, serving pheasant. I bought 2 (frozen) - enough for us? Brine or not? Sauce ideas welcome, probably serving with wild rice...
Avoid brining a pheasant at all costs. (Unless you want to eat something that could have been made by Nike.) I suggest splitting the pheasants in half. Then fill a roasting pan 1/3 full of water. Place a rack above the pan, add the phesants and then drape the pheasants with bacon. Bake at 325 degrees. This will ensure they stay moist and don't toughen. As to a sauce, pomegranite juice, white wine and a little stock reduced is all you need.
Please don't brine pheasant- you've spent extra dough for its innate tastiness. I don't have experience with frozen ones, but I would imagine that water retention as a result of the freezing process (I've seen frozen ones labeled with ~6% by weight water retention) would offset any lack of moisture from the bird's leanness. I simply roast 'em on a rack stuffed with an apple, an onion and some sage, and the breast barded with bacon, which I remove halfway through to allow the breast skin to crisp. The drippings make a fine pan sauce which I cannot improve upon by adding anything else. One pheasant serves 2 with a modest amount left over. And to appease any traditionalists at your table, I can assure you that cranberry sauce is an excellent accompaniment to pheasant. Cheers!