Simmering lentils with bacon and aromatics infuses them with moreish flavours and makes them the perfect backdrop for tender pan-fried pheasant breasts with sautéed onions. Serve for a satisfying Sunday lunch or a well-deserved midweek treat.
Starting with the lentils, put them in a large pan of water together with all the lentil ingredients. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer until tender. The cooking time is about 35 minutes (check with instructions on the pack). When the lentils are cooked, remove the herbs and vegetables and keep some of the stock to serve with the pheasant.
10 minutes before the lentils are ready, heat the butter and oil in large frypan and fry the pheasant breasts for about 3/4 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and keep hot.
Add the garlic, onions and bacon pieces to the juices in the frypan, add more oil if necessary and saute until cooked. Add some of the stock to the pan and heat thoroughly.
Slice the pheasant breasts and put on the serving plate with some of the onions, garlic and a little juice. Serve with the lentils sprinkled well with parsley.
Tip: for speed use canned lentils instead of the dried variety. For extra flavour saute a little chopped onion, garlic and bacon pieces, add the lentils and heat thoroughly before serving.
Thank you to Game to Eat for sharing this recipe with us.
Spatch-cocking the pheasant means it can lie flat when grilled. It cooks at a relatively high temperature, allowing the skin to crisp on the outside, whilst the meat remains juicy and tender.