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Pheasant Vesuvio: ‘Braising the Wild’ by Jack Hennessy

Jack Hennessy goes wild on a classic with Pheasant Vesuvio in Braising the Wild.

Jack Hennessy goes wild on a classic with pheasant vesuvio in “Braising the Wild.”
Credit: Jack Hennessy

Pheasant Vesuvio

Jack Hennessy tackled a classic in Sports Saturday last weekend with pheasant vesuvio. I love it. There are some nuggets, as usual, embedded in the recipe. In case you are wondering, I just learned the new system and am catching up on postings.

Here is Hennessy with his “Braising the Wild” recipe for last week:

Vesuvio has a long, long history with Chicago, and for those who visited the Wild Game Cooking Stage during Pheasant Fest 2019 in Shaumburg, this recipe has been a long, long time coming.

Disclaimer: This is the easiest most-delicious Italian gourmet dish you will ever make. I hope you enjoy it with your family for years to come.

Some notes: The thigh and leg bones are what imbue this dish with its flavor; however, if you are concerned about pellets in your thighs, consider deboning the bird, removing any shot, but keeping the bones inside the pan to add that flavor. Also, if your rooster was older (read: its thighs and legs are tougher), consider lowering the recommended oven temperature here to 325 and cooking for longer, until meat is tender.

Ingredients (serves 2):

Legs and thighs from two roosters (you may add other cuts, but these are essential)

Two medium russet potatoes, cut into wedges

8 ounces frozen peas (or fresh, if you prefer)

2 teaspoons freshly minced garlic

2 teaspoons freshly minced oregano

Kosher salt and black pepper, mixed use

Olive oil

Bottle of white wine that you’ll also enjoying drinking

Freshly minced Italian parsley for garnish (optional)

To prepare:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash potatoes, cut in half and cut into wedges. When dry, dust with kosher salt and lightly oil. Roast until crisp, set aside.

Dust pheasant with little bit of kosher salt and black pepper. Heat half inch of olive oil in a large, oven-safe sauté pan on medium or medium-high until oil is 350 degrees.

Brown all sides of pheasant. When browned, add garlic and deglaze with white wine (probably half to a full cup) by drizzling overtop and all over pheasant. Stir and mix in garlic, use tongs to coat legs in oil and wine.

After a couple minutes, sprinkle freshly minced oregano overtop, add roasted potatoes wedges. Drizzle overtop a little more olive oil and place in 400-degree oven. I recommend checking and flipping pheasant cuts every five minutes until done.

Once fully cooked, add your peas with a light dusting of kosher salt. Cook peas only long enough to fully heat them (and not turn them to mush).

Pull from oven and serve with freshly minced Italian parsley, if so desired. Make sure to include liquids (mix of oil and wine) with dish, as that stuff is pure gold.