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Pheasant tagine

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Ingredients

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1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
250g pheasant breasts, cut into chunks
2 rashers smoked bacon, diced
3 baby shallots, finely diced
1 large carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
2 parsnips (peel reserved), cut into chunks
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp harissa powder
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 piece of lemon peel
6 dried prunes, roughly chopped (50g)
200ml chicken stock
Small pinch of saffron, soaked in 1 tsp of boiling water
1 tsp runny honey
Lemon juice, to taste
FOR THE COUSCOUS
150g wholewheat couscous
Small handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, plus extra for garnish
1 tbsp flaked almonds
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

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Pheasant tagine

Don't be put off by the long list of ingredients. This twist on a Middle-Eastern classic is simple to bring together and uses pheasant rather than the more traditional chicken or lamb. Game meat can be expensive but it's often a lot leaner and higher in iron.

Features:
    Cuisine:
    • 40 Mins
    • Serves 2
    • Medium

    Ingredients

    • FOR THE COUSCOUS

    Directions

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    1. In a large crockpot or saucepan, heat half the olive oil over a medium-high heat. Add the pheasant breasts and bacon in batches and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until nicely coloured and the bacon fat has rendered out. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

    2. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and toss in the baby shallots, carrot and parsnips. Turn the heat down slightly and cook for 8-10 minutes until the shallots have softened and started to colour.

    3. Meanwhile, dry-fry the cumin seeds and coriander seeds over a high heat until fragrant, then blitz to a powder.

    4. Add the coriander, cumin, harissa, ginger, cinnamon stick and garlic to the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

    5. Tip the bacon back into the pan with the lemon peel and dried prunes and pour over the chicken stock, saffron and honey. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Leave to bubble away gently for 10-15 minutes until the parsnips and carrots are tender.

    6. To make the parsnip crisps, lightly coat your hands in a drizzle of olive oil and massage the parsnip peelings. Spread out on a non-stick baking tray and cook in a preheated oven at 200C for 12-15 minutes, turning once, until golden and crisp.

    7. For the salad, cook the couscous according to pack instructions, then stir through the parsley, almonds, lemon zest and juice, and extra-virgin olive oil. Season to taste and set aside.

    8. Add the pheasant back to the tagine and cook for 5 minutes more or until cooked through and piping hot. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice and pour into a serving dish. Serve alongside the couscous and a side of greens. Garnish with the parsnip crisps and a scattering of parsley.

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