PHEASANT CURRY in a TAGINE
2 Large Pheasants
2 Onions thinly sliced
2 Peppers de-seeded and thinly sliced
1-2 Chillies thinly sliced
1 Lemon cut in half lengthways
2 Bay Leaves
1 Cinnamon Stick broken in half
Garlic, 6-10 cloves
Fresh Ginger Root, a large knob about the size of a small plum,
A Favourite Dry Curry Powder Mix- I make my own using Turmeric, Hot Chilli Powder, Ground Coriander, Cumin Seeds, Cardamom Seeds, Cloves, and Fennel seeds, but you can use a commercial one here.
Salt and Pepper
Fresh Coriander to Garnish
- Put Tagine on gentle heat on Hob and add 2 tablespoons of oil and the Onions, Peppers and Chillies to soften gently
- Place 1/2 lemon, a Bay leaf and half a Cinnamon stick inside the body cavity of each Pheasant.
- Grind/Pound/Get out of a Jar your chosen Curry Powder and place around 3 heaped tablespoons of it in a small mixing bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt–if using a commercial curry powder then you may omit salt
- Make a paste of the Garlic and Ginger. I use a garlic crusher and a fine grater, but you could do it in a pestle and mortar ( or a food processor but that isn’t so good). Add this to the bowl of spices along with a tablespoon of Oil.
- Mix all ingredients in the bowl together to form a curry paste. Add a drop of water if still too dry. Taste now to see if you like the balance of flavours .
- Spread the paste all over the breasts and legs of the Pheasants, and nestle them on top of the softening vegetables in the Tagine.
- Put the lid on the Tagine and place in a hot oven of around 220C for 1 hour. If using an Aga, then it will just fit in , but you have to remove all the shelves.
- After 1/2 hour, take out briefly and turn pheasants over using 2 big spoons and put back in oven.
- After 1 hour, and when sizzling away nicely, take out Tagine, Remove pheasants to a large dish, and put tagine back on low heat to bubble gently. Add Garam Masala to taste, around 1 tablespoon maybe. At this stage, remove pheasant legs and add back to sauce. Give everything a good stir and taste and adjust seasoning and chilli heat for the last time.
- Carefully detach breasts from carcasses, cut into 3 chunks each and add back to sauce. Do not let it boil any more. Stir everything gently together and scatter chopped Coriander on top.
Serve in the Tagine on the table along with Basmati Rice or Naan bread.