Oven-braised pheasant with sauerkraut

Yield: 6 servings

1/2 tsp Dried thyme or I sprig

-fresh

2 slice Lean bacon, diced

2 Pheasants, 2 lb each *

3 lbs Sauerkraut, thoroughly

-rinsed and drained

1 1/2 cup Dry white wine

1 tsp Juniper berries (about 20)

2 Cloves

1 Bay leaf

Defatted chicken stock or

-water

Salt and freshly ground

-black pepper to taste

Procedures

* skinned, trimmed of fat and cut into serving pieces (backbones included) preheat oven to 300 °F.

In a large dutch oven, saute bacon over medium heat until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add legs, backs and wings and brown in batches on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes.

(refrigerate breast pieces, covered, until needed).

Add sauerkraut, wine, juniper berries, thyme, cloves and bay leaf to the dutch oven.

Cook over medium heat until about half the liquid has evaporated, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Place the dutch oven in the oven, uncovered.

Bake for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding liquid as needed, until the legs are tender and the sauerkraut is slightly browned.

Remove the dutch oven from the oven, discard backs, wings and bay leaf, season to taste, cover and keep warm.

Raise the oven temperature to 425 °F.

Salt and pepper pheasant breasts and place them on a rack in a roasting pan.

Roast them for 20 to 25 minutes, or until juices run clear when they are pierced with a fork.

Remove the breasts from the roasting pan, set aside and keep warm.

Reheat the legs in the dutch oven briefly.

Slice the meat from the breasts and lay it over the legs and sauerkraut.