This is a great recipe for the winter using a few ingredients in multiple ways to achieve different flavors, textures, aromas. Salsify is a great vegetable that is really under used in my opinion. One that is very versatile and to me, has great flavor. I thought pheasant would be a great bird to go with this vegetable and tried to use the legs in one application and the breast in another. This was a dinner I did a few weeks ago that was a big hit with both JP and Eloise.
2 whole pheasants
1 tbsp of fennel seed
4 tbsp of coriander seed
4 tbsp of olive oil
4 tbsp of butter
3 garlic cloves
1 sprig of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
5 cups of duck fat
Back bone of, wings, and any other bones of pheasant
1 celery stalk
1 bay leaf
8 cups of water
1 thyme sprig
1 bunch of Mustard greens or Swiss chard blanched and large stems removed
10 whole salsify peeled, ends cut off, and put in lemon water
4 whole salsify sliced thin
2 cup of cream
1/4 cup of olive oil
Salt and pepper
4 salsify cut into 1 inch pieces boiled until just done
1/4 cup of parmesan shredded
salt and pepper
2 salsify shaved paper thin and fried
1 1/2 cups of duck fat or vegetable oil for frying
Skin from legs fried into cracklings
Preheat oven to 275 degrees
For the Pheasants
Cut the legs away from the pheasant. Season heavily with salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic. Let the legs cure for at least 8 hours, preferably up to 24 hours. Then take the legs and place in a pot, add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and bring to a hard simmer. Then cover the pot and place in the oven. Cook for 2 1/2- 3 hours or until the meat is tender and falling off the bone. Take the pot out of the oven and cool for 15 minutes. Then pull the legs out of the pot and place on a plate. Carefully remove the skin of the legs and set aside for later. Take all the meat off the bones, making sure there isn't any cartilage or bones in the meat. Take two big pieces of plastic wrap and overlap them flat on your surface. Season the meat with salt and pepper if needed and place all of the meat in a row about an inch from the bottom of the plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap as a guide roll up the leg meat into a cylinder, tying off each end. Place the roll into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours until it sets. After 2 hours take your cylinder out. Place two new plastic sheets like the above step. Then place your blanched and dried mustard greens or chard leaves flat on your plastic wrap overlapping each leaf. Unwrap your leg cylinder and place in the bottom part of your leaves. Then roll up the leg meat using your plastic wrap and leaves into a cylinder. Tie off both ends and place back into the refrigerator for at least an hour.
For the breast of the pheasant.
Keep the breast on the carcass. So you should have two birds with no legs. Cut away the wing tips, and remove most of the back bone where the legs where so the bird should be mostly on the breast bone. Place all the bones into a pressure cooker. Add the rest of the ingredients for the stock and seal the pressure cooker. Bring to heavy pressure and cook for 1 hour. Let the pressure escape naturally and then strain out. Let it settle for a minute and then ladle out the fat on top of the broth. Set aside and keep warm.
Grind together coriander and fennel seeds in a spice grinder. Drizzle each bird (breasts) with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Season with the spice mixture and place in a cryovac bag. Repeat with the other bird. So you should have 2 bags with 1 bird in each minus the legs and part of the backbone. Divide the remaining butter and oil between the 2 bags and seal air tight. Place in a water bath at 135 and cook for 45 minutes. Then take out and rest.
For the salsify,
Take 4 whole salsify out of the 10 and sliced 1/4 inch pieces and place in a pot with cream. Add 2 pinches of salt and bring to a boil. Turn down to very gentle simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until tender and cooked through. Strain off the cream and reserve for later. Add the salsify to a blender with just 1/4 cup of the cooking cream. Puree until smooth, while it is blending slowly add the oil to emulsify the puree. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm.
Take another 4 whole salsify and cut into one inch pieces. Simmer in salt water until just done. Strain off and set aside. Then take the left over cream from the above application and place in a pot you just strained out. Bring to a boil and add the parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper and then add the inch salsify to the pot. Turn off the heat and keep warm. Adjust the seasoning if need be.
Then take the last two salsify and with a vegetable peeler shave pieces of the salsify. In a small pot add duck fat or oil for frying. Add a few pieces to the oil and fry until golden brown. Strain out on to a paper towel and season with salt. Repeat with the remaining salsify.
After you fry the salsify, take the skin from your leg meat and place in the duck fat until it crisp-ins. Strain out and season with salt.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Take the pheasant out of the bags and place into a shallow pan. Season the breast with salt and pepper and place in a skillet. Place the birds into an oven and finish cooking for 10 minutes. Take out and let it rest. Meanwhile take your leg roulade out and take the plastic wrap off ; slice into once inch rolls. Place the rolls in the 1 cup of stock in a shallow pan. Place on the stove with a lid and gently heat for 5 minutes or until warm all the way through. To Plate add a spoonful of the salsify puree on to the plate. Add your leg roulade on top. Top that with fried salsify. Then take parmesan salsify and place three pieces on a plate. Add the pheasant cracklings on top of that. Then take the breast and de-bone from the carcass. Cut a center cut from the breast and place on the plate. Serve with a side jus (stock) and enjoy!