Pheasants are, of course, Asian, or at least Central Asian, but in this case the ‘Asian’ refers to the broth. I know some people have a problem with the seemingly ignorant catch-all of ‘Asian food’ (quite why I don’t know, it’s food from Asia innit?) but in this case it’s probably appropriate. This has no particular national root, but is instead a sort of vegetal fridge slut perked up with lemongrass and chillies and other bits and pieces from the bottle cupboard.
The broth was just the poaching liquor from a hen pheasant – poaching, being the best way to cook this bird, particularly if you’re avoiding the otherwise essential bacon (sob) – and it was augmented with shredded pieces of the legs and the scraggy bits left on the breast. You could use chicken stock and leftover chicken, or even omit the meat altogether.
This is Dukan-friendly, natch.
Quarter of a red cabbage, shredded
A small head of fennel, finely sliced
An onion, peeled and finely sliced
A clove of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
A stalk of lemongrass, finely chopped
Coriander stalks, finely chopped
A red chilli, deseeded in a half-arsed sort of way, and finely chopped
Shaoxing rice wine – a generous splash
1.5 litres pheasant/chicken stock
Splashes of: fish sauce (steady but not too steady)
sesame oil (just a few drops)
Rice wine vinegar (a few shakes)
Soy sauce (a couple of tbsp?)
Finely sliced spring onion and red chilli to garnish
- Heat a drop of oil in a large pan and add all the veggie bits. Stir for a couple of minutes until softened, then tip in the rice wine. Let it whoosh, stir, then add the stock, spices, and unguents. Bring to a boil and simmer very gently for 15 minutes.
- Add the meat and simmer for a further 5 minutes or, if using raw meat, until the meat is cooked. Serve garnished with spring onion and chilli.
Later that evening, when still a little peckish, I strained the hot broth into a cup and sipped in front of the telly. It was like a delicious, spiced game tea.
*Or use raw sliced chicken