Roast pheasant hens with Puy lentils and salsify

servings6
2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Roast pheasant hens

  • 3 900g pheasant hens, plucked
  • 6 slices of streaky bacon, unsmoked
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 juniper berries, crushed
  • 350ml of chicken stock
  • 50g of butter
  • 4 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Puy lentils and salsify

  • 120g of puy lentils
  • 4 batons of salsify, peeled
  • 50g of unsmoked bacon, on the bone
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 small onion, halved
  • 600ml of chicken stock
  • 30 bacon lardons
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Method

1
Soak the lentils in cold water for 1 hour. Wash the sticks of salsify and cut into 3cm batons
  • 120g of puy lentils
  • 4 batons of salsify, peeled
2
Preheat the oven to 200˚C/gas mark 6
3
Cover each of the pheasants with 2 slices of the bacon and truss with string. Season the cavity of the birds with a pinch of salt and pepper
  • 3 900g pheasant hens, plucked
  • 6 slices of streaky bacon, unsmoked
  • salt
  • pepper
4
Heat the vegetable oil in a large roasting pan and brown the pheasant hens on all sides
  • 4 tbsp of vegetable oil
5
Arrange the carrot, onion, celery, garlic and crushed juniper berries around the birds and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, basting frequently
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 juniper berries, crushed
6
Meanwhile, place the presoaked lentils in a large pot with the whole bacon, thyme, peeled garlic and halved onion, then pour over the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 25-30 minutes
  • 50g of unsmoked bacon, on the bone
  • 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 small onion, halved
  • 600ml of chicken stock
7
Remove the pheasants from the oven and leave to rest for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the salsify batons in boiling salted water for 5-10 minutes
  • salt
8
Fry the bacon lardons in olive oil until golden
  • 30 bacon lardons
  • olive oil
9
Drain the salsify and sauté until golden brown in a little oil along with the lardons, then drain on some paper towels and stir into the cooked lentils and seasoning
  • salt
  • pepper
10
Pour off any excess fat from the roasting tray, add the chicken stock to the vegetables and boil until reduced by half, skimming frequently
  • 350ml of chicken stock
11
Strain the sauce into a small pan, discarding the vegetables, and whisk in the butter
  • 50g of butter
12
Spoon some of the lentils and salsify onto each plate and place a portion of leg and breast on top. Pour over a little of the sauce and serve with seasonal vegetables of your choice