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Oven-Braised Pheasant with Sauerkraut

1/2 ts Dried thyme or I sprig

-fresh 2 sl Lean bacon, diced

2 Pheasants, 2 lb each *

3 lb Sauerkraut, thoroughly

-rinsed and drained 1 1/2 c Dry white wine

1 ts Juniper berries (about 20)

2 Cloves

1 Bay leaf

Defatted chicken stock or -water Salt and freshly ground -black pepper to taste * skinned, trimmed of fat and cut into serving pieces (backbones included) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In a large Dutch oven, saute bacon over medium heat until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Add legs, backs and wings and brown in batches on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes. (Refrigerate breast pieces, covered, until needed.) Add sauerkraut, wine, Juniper berries, thyme, cloves and bay leaf to the Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until about half the liquid has evaporated, about 10 to 15 minutes. Place the Dutch oven in the oven, uncovered. Bake for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally and adding liquid as needed, until the legs are tender and the sauerkraut is slightly browned

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