Dutch Oven Fall-off-the-Bone Pheasant Legs
Dark-meat lovers will rave over this meal. There's so much rich gravy from this dish, be sure to serve rice, noodles, mashed potatoes, or the Corn Bread and Italian Sausage Stuffing (page 256). The Freshly Grated Carrot Salad (page 247) would be a nice light side for contrast.
Preheat oven to 325°F. Dredge pheasant legs in the seasoned flour.
Heat butter in a Dutch oven and brown 3 or 4 legs at a time. Set legs aside.
Add onions and sauté for 3 or 4 minutes. Add carrots and sprinkle with oregano. Place legs in pot. Add chicken stock, wine, and heavy cream, not quite covering the legs. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and place heavy foil over pot, then place the lid on top to cover tightly. Place in the oven and bake for about 2 to 3 hours until meat falls from the bone.
Alternatively, continue to simmer on top of the stove with the tightly covered foil and lid, for the same length of time.
Game Bird Legs
Tough old pheasant legs can be chewy and unappetizing. However, slow cooking or braising them in liquid is the ticket. The taste of a fall-off-the-bone pheasant leg is excellent. The dark meat has a rich flavor and melts in your mouth. There are lots of slender bones in pheasant and other game-bird legs. So eat carefully and use fingers to pull the bones out of the way. Serve these meals with fingertip towels instead of napkins.
8 pheasant or partridge or ptarmigan legs
1 cup seasoned flour 4–6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 onions, chopped
4–5 carrots, chopped
1–2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream, more or less
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste