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Pheasant with Black Olives

4 Pheasants

----------------------------------MARINADE---------------------------------- 2 c Zinfandel

3 lg Shallots, peeled, thinly

-sliced 5 Garlic cloves, peeled,

-thinly sliced 1/2 bn Fresh thyme

3 Bay leaves, cracked

1 tb Juniper berries

-----------------------------------SAUCE----------------------------------- Bones from the pheasants 4 tb Olive oil

1 1/2 md Size unpeeled onions,

-quartered 1 1/2 Heads of garlic

Two 750 milliliter bottles -Zinfandel 3 qt Strong chicken stock

6 oz Black olives (preferably

-kalamata), pitted 3 Roma tomatoes, peeled,

-seeded, chopped Salt and pepper, to taste To remove breast meat and thighs from pheasants, cut down each side of the ridge of the breastbone with a boning knife. Scrape the knife down the side of the breast bone and the rib cage to remove meat from the bone. Leave wings attached. Slit the skin between the knee and top of the breast, then slip it around to the small of the back. Force the knee down, and soon you will see the ball joint where the leg-thigh meets the small of the back, Cut through the knee joint. Run tip of knife along both sides of remaining thigh bone and pull away from the meat. A boneless thigh portion, skin-on and rather square shaped, and a skin-on boneless breast with wing attached remain. Reserve bones for stock. Mix marinade ingredients and pour over pheasant. Marinate 2 to 3 hours. The sauce: Crack reserved bones with the blunt edge of a heavy knife. Heat the olive oil in a 5-quart stock pot until oil is smoking hot. Add bones and brown, stirring constantly. After 10 minutes bones should begin to take on a golden brown color. Keep stirring so ingredients don't burn. Add onions and garlic and cook approximately 10 minutes longer, until onions and garlic have caramelized, and the bones have browned. Spoon excess oil from pot, and add Zinfandel, stirring to dislodge browned bits from bottom of pot. Reduce heat to medium and cook until liquid reduces in volume and becomes syrupy. Add chicken stock, bring to a boil, and cook until sauce has reduced to 3 or 4 cups. Strain. Sauce should be thick enough to coat a spoon. When ready to serve, reheat sauce with the olives and tomatoes. Season to taste with pepper and salt. Lift pheasant from marinade and scrape off any solids clinging to the meat. Season with salt and pepper. Sear meat skin side down until golden. Turn and repeat. Roast pheasant in a 400 degrees F. oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Breast meat will be finished first and should feel plump and tender to the touch. Thigh meat must be cooked through and will need a few more minutes to cook. Serve 1 breast and 1 thigh per person. Drizzle olive sauce over meat.





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