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Braised Plantain with Pheasant

Ingredients:

  • 2 pheasants
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 pound butter, softened
  • 1 pound plantain leaves
  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 11/2 cup water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup white wine

Pluck and draw the pheasants. Wash thoroughly inside and out and pat dry with paper towels. Rub salt over the inside and outside of the birds. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter on medium speed. Using your hands, spread half of the butter inside each bird.

Clean and wash the plantain leaves well and discard bruised or darkened leaves. Stuff the birds with the leaves, making sure they are well filled. Sew them up and tie legs together so they will hold their while cooking.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a 12-inch skillet heat 2 tablespoons of butter over high heat. When it gives off a nutty aroma, lower the heat and add the oil. Stir well. Put the pheasants, one at a time, breast down in the skillet. After 7 minutes, turn the bird on its side and cook for an additional 7 minutes. Continue turning until both birds are browned on all sides.

Place the pheasants in a large roasting pan, breast up. Pour the water into the skillet and bring to a boil, stirring to get all the browned bits from the bottom. Pour the contents of the skillet over the birds. Cover tightly and braise in the middle of the oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove the pheasants from the oven and place on a carving board. While letting the birds rest for five minutes, skim and discard the fat from the roasting pan juices. Add the cream and bring to a boil, stirring constantly and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Boil the sauce for several minutes and then add the wine. Let the wine reduce and the sauce thicken. Season to taste and serve in a gravy boat. Carve the pheasant and serve with plantain stuffing and sauce. Serves six.

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