3 whole pheasants
1 large onion, chopped
2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, diced
Fresh white corn kernels sliced from 3 ears of corn
12 ounce can of tomato juice
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large stock pot place pheasants and fill pot with water. Let water come to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Let pheasants cook for about an hour and a half, until tender. Remove pheasants to a bowl. (At this point I strained the water that was in the pot and wiped the pot clean to account for any extraneous feathers and the returned the water to the cooking pot.) Add the onions to the water in the cooking pot and simmer for half an hour. When the pheasants have cooled, debone and shred the meat. (Be extra vigilant about deboning a pheasant. Pheasants have small needle-like bones in their legs. It is easy to miss these.) Add the shredded meat to the pot and cook for an hour. Add the potatoes and more water and cook for half an hour. Add the corn, dried herbs, salt, and pepper. (I also added two cups of chicken broth that had defrosted in my freezer.) Cook for half an hour. Add the tomato juice and cook for an hour. Taste to adjust salt and pepper levels. Turn off heat and let pot cool. Wait for Dominion Power to show up. When the electricity is back on and the refrigerator is working, place the cooled pot in the refrigerator with a lid. Heat the stew the next evening. Drink with a 2000 Brunello di Montalcino from Castello Romitorio.
The pheasant stew was not too gamey and I liked the addition of fresh corn. Since this recipe was adapted from a family Brunswick stew recipe (Granddaddy Stew) that I usually make, my husband kept saying that it was missing something, like butterbeans and beef. Still, very tasty. The Brunello had mellowed a bit in the bottle and complimented the ever-so-slight gaminess, but did not overpower the stew. And the bottle sported a very cool label. It is a painting from Sandro Chia created in 1984 entitled Bread and Wine.