Chef David’s Braised Pheasant


- Whole Pheasant, 2-3lbs

- Olive Oil, 1 cup

- Carrots, tops on, 3-4

- Cipollini Onions, 3-4

- Whole Leek

- Fennel

- Garlic, 1 cup

- Salt, to taste

- Pepper, to taste

- Spice Blend

- Clove, 1 Tbsp

- Allspice, 1 Tbsp

- Salt, to taste

- Black peppercorn, 1 Tbsp

- Green peppercorn, 1 Tbsp

- Bay leaves, 2-3

- Bourbon, 1 ½ oz (for deglazing)

- Water, 3 quarts


1. Lay bird on cutting board with the breast facing up. Start by cutting down the middle, following one side of the bone until sliced in half. When you hit the thigh and wings joints, pop them out of socket and cut between the bones. You should be left with two halves. Leave skin on. Preheat oven to 375.

2. In large pan on medium heat, add oil. Slice carrots into circles. Roughly chop tops, set aside. Remove bottom and dark green part of leek, toss. Thinly slice white section of leek into small circles. Quarter onions. Thinly slice garlic into small pieces. Remove fennel tops and set side. Cut bulb into half and lay on its side, julienne.

3. Salt and pepper pheasant, lay skin side down into pan, let sear for 1-2 minutes. Add spice blend and let cook for 30 seconds. Add veggies, stirring slowly to brown. Flip pheasant to other side.

4. Carefully add bourbon to pan, it may flame up. Remove from heat and allow to cool, no more than 5 minutes.

5. Place all ingredients into deep roasting pan, add 3 quarts of water to cover pheasant. Cover with film wrap and then foil. Bake for 1 hour and 35 minutes.

6. Once finished baking, carefully poke holes in foil to release steam and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Check internal temperature, should be 160-165 degrees.

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5800 Wessex Hundred
Williamsburg, VA