- 4 boneless MacFarlane pheasant breasts (4-6 ounce breast), skin on
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 fluid ounce clarified butter (or pure olive oil for searing)
- 1 1/2 ounce minced shallot (1 large shallot)
- 1 minced garlic clove
- 4 ounce of minced oyster, crimini, shiitake, or wild mushroom of choice
- 1 ounce Cognac or Brandy
- 1 teaspoon minced thyme
- 1 teaspoon minced sage
- 1/2 teaspoon minced rosemary
- 3/4 cup small diced Gruyere cheese
- 1/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts
- 4 slices smoked bacon (blanched in boiling water for 45 seconds)
- 4 sheets of puff pastry (6X6 inch squares)
- 1 egg beaten for brushing pastry sheets
Season breasts with salt and pepper and sear well in a pan with the clarified butter, remove to a plate and let cool. In the hot pan sauté the shallots until golden and then add the garlic and mushrooms and cook until dry. Deglaze with the liquor along with any juices that come from the seared breasts and reduce until no steam rises from mixture. Turn off heat and allow to slightly cool. Add the chopped herbs, cheese, chopped walnuts and stir to incorporate mixture evenly. The texture should be of a stuffing consistency.
Stuff 1/4 of mixture under the skin of each cooled breast and wrap each stuffed breast with a slice of the blanched bacon. Roll thawed puff pastry to a square large enough to completely cover the breast, wrap, pinching the edges together, moisten with water if necessary.*
Place the wrapped pheasant breasts onto a half sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Brush top with the beaten egg. Bake at 425 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes prior to serving.
Recommended sauces: Fruit preserves of any kind cut with a rich hen broth and finished with a touch of whole butter.
*Any excess dough can be cut with decorative cutters and layered on top for garnish.