Recipe: Pheasant breast wrapped in bacon on a bed of lentils

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Ingredients:-

    For the pheasants

    • 45g butter
    • 2 large or 4 smaller pheasant breasts
    • the leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme
    • 4 rashers of smoked bacon
    • 1 glass of white vermouth such as Noilly Prat

    For the lentils

    • 125g lentils de Puy
    • a large rib of celery
    • 2 rashers of bacon
    • 2 cloves of garlic
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • a couple of bushy sprigs of thyme
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 250ml fruity red wine

    Method:-

      For the pheasants

      • Set the oven at 220C/gas mark 8.
      • Soften the butter slightly with a spoon and season it with salt and black pepper.
      • Pull the leaves from the thyme and chop roughly, then mix into the butter.
      • Divide the butter between the breasts, smoothing it over them.
      • Wrap the bacon around the buttered breasts and lay them in a roasting tin or baking dish.
      • Pour the Noilly Prat over the breasts and roast for 25-35 minutes until the bacon is crisp and the meat lightly cooked through to the middle.
      • Serve with the juices, and the lentils.

      For the lentils

      • Rinse the lentils.
      • Chop the celery and bacon.
      • Peel and finely slice the garlic.
      • Warm the olive oil in a saucepan and add the celery, bacon, garlic and thyme sprigs.
      • Cook till the bacon is golden, then add the lentils, bay leaves and wine.
      • Pour in enough water to cover the lentils by a finger's depth then bring the boil.
      • Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 -25 minutes till firm but tender.
      • Season with salt and black pepper, and serve with the pheasant.

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