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Where can I buy a pheasant?

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Does anyone know where in london I can buy a pheasant, how much they cost, and also how they come. i.e. can I get one without feathers? At the Burrough Market I've seen them with all their feathers on and I'm not sure I'm ready for that...Thanks

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  1. I think I remember seeing them at Allens (117 Mount Street, Mayfair) last week.

    In my local butchers they cost between £2.50 to £3.50 each depending on size - I live in Somerset so they may be cheaper than London. Allens is a very classy butchers (with a reputation for game) and so probably they will be more expensive. They should come without feathers and guts - unless you want to pluck them yourself.

    1. Any decent sized supermarket will have pheasant in stock, ready plucked, cleaned and ready to cook. Expect to around £4.50 - £5. Almost certainly cheaper in butchers shops at around £3.50 (at least in North Cheshire).

      Unless you're sure it's a young bird, pot roast it rather than bunging straight in the oven.

      John

      1 Reply
      1. re: Brit on a Trip

        Eve if you see one at a butcher with feathers, they can clean it for you, and cut it up.

      2. My husband brought home 4 last week. He's a little wacky since we bought a new freezer. A local butcher will have them this time of year - ours came plucked (thank goodness). We made one into a nice casserole dish and one we roasted as it was young. Watch out for little buckshot which is sometimes still in the bird.

        3 Replies
        1. re: zuriga1

          June

          IIRC, your husband is a Brit. There is nothing wacky about bringing home 4 birds for the new freezer. It is the hunter-gatherer still in us.

          We have just spent several weeks having building work done to extend the kitchen/utility - but it still means we now have less freezer space than before. I am distraught!

          J

          1. re: Brit on a Trip

            John,

            Very funny. I think you're right. He hunted for me and look where I ended up! Being a spoiled (spoilt?) American, the lack of freezer space has bothered me for over 3 years. I'm a hoarder which is as bad as being a hunter. Do you have a space in a shed for a freezer?

            I am off today to the Chinese supermarket and will load up on frozen things I used to pass by. And I just booked a Valentine's Day trip to Paris - any favorites there? I have a list about 10 miles long as usual. Eurostar has a 2 for 1 offer from their two Kent stations. Return for two cost me £58 - unbelievable!!

            June

            1. re: zuriga1

              June - Unfortunately my "big freezer" (used after hunter-gatherer expeditions to the farmers market) used to live in the garage and now we've incorporated part of that space to make the utility room, there simply isnt room (although Mrs Brit is pleased with having a much larger fridge and dryer - such is life).

              As to Paris, it's long while since I was there and wouldnt have any valid recs - but the Chowhound board should be quite active. If ever you do a Dover/Calais day trip, give me a shout - I know some nice places there & Boulogne. Better still, take the car, stay overnight (thereby getting lunch and dinner) and do a mega-shop for food goodies at the Calais Carrefour.

              Enjoy the trip to the Chinese supermarket - make sure you stock up on frozen dim sum.

              John

        2. The Ginger Pig in Marylebone has them plucked and ready to go...

          7 Replies
          1. re: condimentqueen

            Thanks for the tips everyone. I'm planning to brine and braise pheasant for Thanksgiving this weekend. Seems like a more British way to celebrate the holiday to me. At any rate less expensive and also more exciting than cooking a Turkey. Also, I am not really wanting to wear a hazmat suit while cooking a turkey given the recent bird-flu thing. Any way, looking forward to preparing and eating my first pheasant here in London. My poor British guests though--they thought they were going to experience a real American Thanksgiving...

            1. re: lowandslow

              The brining? Is this an American thing you do with birds - I've not heard of it before? Can you explain what's involved and why it's done? TIA.

              1. re: Brit on a Trip

                John, I think this brining a turkey thing originated in the Southern part of the East Coast. Now it's gained some fame, and a lot of Americans seem to think it's a good method. I never saw the need. I definitely have never heard of brining a pheasant, but I'm curious to what it would do to improve the taste.

                1. re: zuriga1

                  I have Kentuckian friend who tells me the local thing is to deep-fry the whole turkey. Can this be true or is he winding me up?

                  I rather suspect that it might be true, based on his description of a large fire in his garden when the oil overheated (the story goes they were using a metal rubbish bin to cook it in)

                  1. re: Brit on a Trip

                    I think your KY friend is telling the truth although it sounds pretty awful to me who is a Yankee. I'm pretty sure that Heston Blumenthal may have tried deep frying something or other in his driveway on his previous series. It, too, was a bit of a disaster. I can't see the point of deep frying such a large bird when the skin gets nice and crispy doing it the usual way in an oven.

                    I just Googled. There is a page full of sites telling how to deep fry a turkey. To each his own.....

                2. re: Brit on a Trip

                  To tell you the truth I've nevver brined a pheasant or a turkey before. The Turkey I was going to brine because it;s always too dry. People say brining makes it more moist. For Pheasant I was just on a roll with the brining concept. The only thing I've ever actually brined was a pork shoulder to make pulled pork. I then barbequed it over wood chips for 5 houras and it was amazing. Brining is basically salt and water and sometimes sugar and whatever else you want to put in it. It basically starts to break down tougher meat, add moisture and flavor. Like I said, with the pulled pork I made it was fantastic. As far as Americans brining Turkey I don't think it's very common and also most Turkey I've eaten on Thanksgiving has desperately needed to be smothered in gravy as the white meat is so dry you can barely swallow it. As far as deep-fried Turkey goes my partner used to live in Louisiana and he says people inject their turkeys with hot sauce and then deep fry them He says it's AMAZING. We were going to ask our local chippie if they'd deep fry one for us but then thought that might seem kind of odd. The best way I've ever tasted Turkey was barbequed but I don't have a barbeque here in London.

                  1. re: lowandslow

                    Did you cook frozen or fresh turkeys in the States? I cooked fresh ones for many years and never had tough or dry white meat. Maybe I was just lucky.

                    Anything barbequed is good!

            2. Not only can you get pheasant at practically any decent grocery or butcher's, you can get boneless skinless pheasant breasts at lots of butchers (in Oxford, every meatmerchant in the covered market has them). They are really, really good for pot pies. Really.

              1. I can always find pheasants at the London Farmers' Markets (there are 14 around London - www.lfm.org.uk ). They're cheaper than Borough Market, less manic, and feel a bit more, well, real.

                You'll also be buying from the producers, which will win you good food karma :-)

                3 Replies
                1. re: abpstigand

                  At my local farmers' market (which some 200 miles north of the OP's location is not much use to them), three stalls had them (2 plucked and ready to cook, 1 do-it-yourself). Price ranging from £3.50 - £3.75 per bird (discount for 2+).

                  I didnt get one - but settled for a very tasty looking wild mallard (at £3.50). And Mrs Brit isn't fond of duck - so a greedy dinner for me coming soon.

                  1. re: Brit on a Trip

                    John - interesting how prices vary across the country. I got two for £2.95 each at Bath farmers market on Saturday. I am surprised Cheshire is more expensive than Somerset - must be all the WAG's.

                    1. re: PhilD

                      Phil - it's even worse. The farmers' market was in Ashton under Lyne (Lancashire) - although I bought it off a new stall run by the Eaton Estate (Duke of Westminster's stately home). Poor old so-and-so must be running shor tof a few quid.

                      I actually live very near to the WAG's "Golden Triangle" (albeit on its poverty stricken northern perimeter) - as many Ferraris per 1000 population as around Maranello (apparently)