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Roasted Pheasant with Wheat Berry Salad

  • 35 m
  • 2 h
EatingWell Test Kitchen
“Pheasant is a small bird with a delicate flavor that's richer than chicken. We roast apples and shallots in the pan along with the bird, then toss them with cooked wheat berries for a delicious whole-grain side.”

Ingredients

    • 1¼ cups wheat berries, (see Ingredient Note)
    • 2 medium Gala apples, peeled and cut into eighths
    • 2 cups halved peeled shallots, (10-12 small shallots)
    • 1 tablespoon walnut oil, or canola oil
    • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
    • 1 3-pound pheasant, (see Sources)
    • 1½ cups apple cider
    • One 4-inch cinnamon stick

Directions

  • 1 Place wheat berries in a large saucepan and add water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; reduce heat, cover and simmer gently until tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Drain and set aside.
  • 2 Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F.
  • 3 Toss apples, shallots, oil, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Remove giblets (if included) from pheasant. Loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat and rub the remaining salt and pepper under the skin; place the pheasant, breast-side down, on top of the apple mixture. Roast for 30 minutes.
  • 4 Meanwhile, bring cider and cinnamon stick to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil until reduced to ½ cup, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat; discard the cinnamon stick.
  • 5 After 30 minutes, turn the bird over and baste with a couple tablespoons of the reduced cider, stirring it into the apple mixture. Continue roasting, basting with reduced cider every 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, 40 to 50 minutes more.
  • 6 Transfer the pheasant to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Transfer the apple mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the reserved wheat berries and any accumulated pheasant juices. Serve the pheasant with the wheat berry salad.
  • Ingredient Note: Wheat berries are the whole, unprocessed grains of wheat. Find them in natural-foods markets and online at kingarthurflour.com.
  • Sources: Find pheasant in well-stocked supermarkets, specialty butchers or at dartagnan.com.
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