Pheasant, puy lentils, savoy cabbage & blackberries

by Tony Rodd

A recipe to make the most of the autumn bounty


For the confit leg:
2 pheasants
50g fine salt
½ bunch of thyme
Zest of 1 orange
5 juniper berries, crushed

For the puy lentils:
20g puy lentils
400ml chicken stock
1 onion, quartered
Picked confit leg meat

For the poached pheasant breast:
20 pheasant crowns
1 litre chicken stock
½ bunch of thyme

For the pickled blackberries:
8 blackberries
100g red wine vinegar
75g sugar
1 star anise
½ tsp black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

For the pheasant sauce:
Reserved wings and carcasses
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small stick of celery, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 small leek, finely chopped
250ml red wine
Reserved stock
1 punnet of blackberries
½ bunch thyme
1 tsp juniper berries

1/2 savoy cabbage


Remove the legs from the crown. Place the legs in the cure mix and leave in the fridge for 1 hour. Remove and wipe clean. Place in oil and cook at 120C for 1.5 hours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the oil, then drain and pick the meat from the bones, removing any cartilage and bone.

Soak the puy lentils in cold water for 1 hour. Drain and place in a pan with the stock and an onion. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 30 mins or until tender. Remove the onion. Add the flaked leg meat and reserve until needed.

Remove the wings from the crowns and reserve. Bring the chicken stock and thyme to a boil. Turn off the heat and add the crowns, leave for 10 mins in the stock, then remove and pat dry (reserve the stock for the sauce). Crisp the skins in a pan of oil and cool. Remove the breasts from the crown, reserving the crowns for the sauce. Heat the pickling liquid with 25g water and pour over the berries. Allow to cool.

To make the sauce, roast the wings and carcasses in a baking tray with the veg at 180C until browned. Place the bones and vegetables in a saucepan and cover with water. Deglaze the tray with red wine and add to the saucepan along with the blackberries, thyme and juniper. Bring to the boil then simmer for 1 hour until reduced. Strain and taste, adjusting for seasoning. Reduce further if required. Finely chiffonade the cabbage and steam or blanch for 3 mins or until tender. Season and reserve until needed.

Recipe: Tony Rodd