Slow braising guarantees a moist bird. Use a good- quality gin for optimum flavor.
Rinse and pat dry
1 young pheasant (2-3 pounds)
Season inside and out with:
Salt and black pepper
Tie the legs together. Bard, 455, wrapping the bird completely in:
2 to 4 ounces bacon or thinly sliced pork fat
and tying the fat securely around the bird. Heat in a Dutch oven over medium/high heat:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Add the pheasant and cook, turning occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove it to a plate. Add to the pot and cook, stirring, until golden, 3 to 5 minutes:
½ cup sliced shallots
Add the pheasant, along with:
1 cup chicken stock or brother
2/3 cup gin
¼ cup dry sherry
½ teaspoon crushed juniper berries
2 bay leaves
Bring to a boil, then cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the pheasant is tender and the juices from the thigh run clear when it is pierced, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the pheasant to a platter and keep warm.
Strain the sauce, then skim off the fat, remove the bay leaves, and return the sauce to the pot. Boil over medium high heat until slightly thickened, 3to 5 minutes.
3 tablespoons minced parsley
(2 tablespoons butter)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Remove the barding fat from the pheasant, and carve.
Spoon the sauce over the meat and serve.