Sunday, December 19, 2010

Recipe - Pheasant Leg Soup

This is really the only way I’ve ever eaten pheasant legs and liked them. They are too stringy otherwise. This is a recipe of my own making that I made last night and it was the bomb…

SOUP RECIPE

6 pheasant legs (bone-in) and the ribs and breast bones left over from filleting 3 breasts. Fill a 5-quart stock pot almost full of water and throw the legs and breast bones in. Boil for 2 hours. Take bones/meat out, and pull meat off bones (pick it off into small pieces like shredded beef). Remove tendons in legs (kind of like fish bones). I usually like to do this the day before so I can let the stock sit overnight to cool (in a refrigerator, of course) and then spoon off the coagulated fat on the surface to reduce the fat in the recipe, but this isn’t necessary. The stock will be very clear and watery, but that’s okay, it will broth up really nicely in the next step…

Chop:

One half of a fist-sized onion
3 sticks of celery (I like to remove the strings, too)
2-3 big carrots
3-4 green onions
A half a head of cabbage
6 cloves of garlic

Measure:

2 tbsp salt (I actually just salt to taste as I’m cooking, but estimate that this is how much I add to get the taste right)
1/8 to ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (you can always add more, but can’t take it out!!!)
1.5 tbsp crushed rosemary
1 tbsp marjoram
½ tbsp basil
A couple pinches of thyme
½ tbsp hot sauce of your choice (again, go easy, you can always add more)
A bag of egg noodles (15 ounce, iirc)

Then –

Bring your stock to a boil. Add the salt, pepper, rosemary, marjoram, basil, thyme, and hot sauce. Then, dump in onion, celery, carrots, green onions, and garlic. Do not add the cabbage yet. Add your meat if you haven’t already, and boil/simmer the whole mess for an hour (and a half?) until the carrots are tender. You can literally just walk away, it doesn’t need to be stirred or anything. Add salt if necessary to taste. Then, dump in the egg noodles and boil them until they are done (maybe 12 to 15 minutes?). Take the whole mess off of the heat, then add the cabbage, put the lid back on the pot, and call the family up for dinner. By the time they get there, the cabbage will have cooked.

I know these long cooking times are intimidating, but remember, the stock can be made days in advance (that takes the longest) and the soup, itself, more or less cooks itself once you bring it all to a boil, because you can walk away – it won’t burn or scorch or nothing.

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