Roasted Pheasant with Wheat Berry Salad

Total Time:
1 hr 25 min
15 min
1 hr 10 min

4 servings

  • 1 1/4 cups wheat berries (see Ingredient Note)
  • 2 medium Gala apples, peeled and cut into eighths
  • 2 cups halved peeled shallots (10-12 small shallots)
  • 1 tablespoon walnut oil or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 3 -pound pheasant (see Sources)
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider
  • One 4-inch cinnamon stick

Pheasant is a small bird with a delicate flavor that's richer than chicken. We roast apples and shallots in the pan along with the bird, then toss them with cooked wheat berries for a delicious whole-grain side.

Place wheat berries in a large saucepan and add water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; reduce heat, cover and simmer gently until tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375degreesF.

Toss apples, shallots, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Remove giblets (if included) from pheasant. Loosen the skin over the breast and thigh meat and rub the remaining salt and pepper under the skin; place the pheasant, breast-side down, on top of the apple mixture. Roast for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring cider and cinnamon stick to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat; discard the cinnamon stick.

After 30 minutes, turn the bird over and baste with a couple tablespoons of the reduced cider, stirring it into the apple mixture. Continue roasting, basting with reduced cider every 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thigh without touching bone registers 165degreesF, 40 to 50 minutes more.

Transfer the pheasant to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Transfer the apple mixture to a large bowl. Stir in the reserved wheat berries and any accumulated pheasant juices. Serve the pheasant with the wheat berry salad.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 533 calories; 8 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono); 75 mg cholesterol; 80 g carbohydrate; 37 g protein; 9 g fiber; 633 mg sodium; 655 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (28% daily value), Iron & Vitamin A (25% dv), Potassium (19% dv). 5 Carbohydrate Servings Exchanges: 3 starch, 2 fruit, 4 medium-fat meat

TIP: Ingredient Note: Wheat berries are the whole, unprocessed grains of wheat. Find them in natural-foods markets and online at Sources: Find pheasant in well-stocked supermarkets, specialty butchers or at

From with permission. 2009 Eating Well Inc. Photo by Ken Burris

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