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Madeira Roast Pheasant

Origin: FRANCE

2 tbl Unsalted butter
1 x (unpeeled) coarsely chopped onion
3 x Coarsely chopped celery stalk
2 x Coarsely chopped carrot
2 x Bay leaf
2 tbl Herbs de Provence *
3 x Pheasants (2 to 2-1/2 lb)
4 x Wings chicken
2 x Backs chicken
1 cup Room temperature unsalted butter
1/4 cup Madeira
1 qt Chicken broth
1 tbl Unsalted butter
1 tbl All purpose flour

Preheat oven to 450 deg. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large roasting pan.
Stir in onion, celery, carrots, bay leaves and 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence. Top with pheasant giblets, necks, chicken wings and backs. Roast until well browned, turning frequently, about 40 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 375 deg.
Meanwhile, make herb butter by mixing 1 cup butter with 1 tablespoon herbs de Provence. Pat pheasants dry inside and out. Loosen breast skin on each by gently sliding fingers under neck flap and down between breast meat and skin, being careful not to tear skin. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons herb butter evenly over breast under skin of each. Sprinkle each cavity with salt and pepper. Place 2 tablespoons herb butter into each cavity. Truss pheasants to hold shape. Arrange on sides atop vegetable mixture in roasting pan.
Roast 15 minutes, basting frequently with pan juices. Turn on second side and roast 15 minutes, basting frequently. Turn pheasants breast side up.
Add Madeira to pan and continue roasting until juices run pale pink when thickest part of thigh is pierced, basting frequently, about 15 minutes.
Transfer pheasants to platter and discard string. Tent with foil.
Add broth to roasting pan. Boil until reduced to 3 cups liquid, scraping up any browned bits, about 6 minutes. Strain sauce and degrease. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in heavy small saucepan over low heat. Add flour and stir 3 minutes. Whisk in sauce in thin stream. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Adjusting seasoning. Pour into bowl. Garnish pheasant with parsley. Pass sauce separately.
*Available at specialty foods stores.
(Ouida & Vince Kelly)