Baked Pheasant In Gin And Juniper Cream
|Hen pheasants||2 , dressed but untrussed|
|Garlic cloves||2 Large, halved|
|Gin||1⁄4 Pint (150 milliliter)|
|Juniper berries||6 , lightly crushed|
|Lemon||1 , halved|
|Double cream/Soured cream||1⁄4 Pint (150 milliliter)|
Remove the skin from the birds and rub all over with the cut garlic cloves.
Put a garlic half inside each one.
Heat the gin a little, ignite and pour just a few spoonfuls over each bird.
Quickly add the juniper berries to the remaining warm gin and set both the birds and the gin in a warm place for an hour or so for the flavours to develop.
Put half a lemon inside each bird and smear the breasts with the butter.
Place the birds on their sides in a roasting-tin and cover with a dome of foil sealed tightly around the edges.
Roast at 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7 for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes and basting with half the juniper-infused gin.
Remove the foil, turn the birds on their backs and baste with the remaining gin before cooking for a further 10 minutes.
Turn the birds on to their breasts on a warm plate and allow to stand for at least 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the roasting-tin over direct heat and reduce the juices until brown and syrupy.
Stir in the double or soured cream.
To serve, cut the whole breasts off the carcasses, or simply cut the birds in half with kitchen shears.
Strain the sauce over the birds and serve with colourful vegetables; a pilaf of toasted barley adds the right earthy note.