Magazine article The Spectator

Pheasant Pilav

Magazine article The Spectator

Pheasant Pilav

Article excerpt

Thanks to a hot summer, the countryside heaves with pheasant, dead and alive, and it must be eaten, or shooting, too, will enter the sights of the anti-enjoyment lobby. If this means just cutting the breasts from the carcass - and to hell with the rest of the bird - so be it. Life may well be too short to pluck pheasants. Pilav is a sympathetic recipe for cooks that cannot bear the tedium of another roasted game bird. It is also a dish that takes the now so-English pheasant back to the Islamic countries of its roots - regions very much in mind - where vine fruits and nuts often share a dish with meat.

12 oz/360 g long-grain rice

4 tablespoons goose fat

8 pheasant breasts, skin removed

Freshly ground black pepper

4 medium white onions, peeled and chopped

4 sticks celery, sliced very thin

Half to 1 teaspoon soft crystal sea salt

4 tablespoons golden sultanas

1 tablespoon cumin seeds, toasted in dry pan and ground

The pips from 2 pomegranates

4 tablespoons flaked almonds, toasted in dry pan

A few mint leaves

Cover the rice with plenty of water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 15 minutes, until tender but not soft. …

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