1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 small white onion, finely diced
1 large stalk celery, finely diced
1/2 cup finely crushed plain salted crackers, such as wheat crackers
1 large egg
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1/3 cup fresh corn kernels, roasted
6 tablespoons chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 fresh pheasant (about 2 1/4 pounds)
2 to 3 strips country-style smoked bacon
6 cups fresh corn kernels (6 ears)
1/2 habanero chile, seeds removed
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons salt
To prepare the stuffing: Melt the butter in a saute pan over low heat. Add the onion and celery and cook for 20 minutes, or until the onion is cooked through but not brown. Set aside. Put the crackers in a large bowl, add the egg, the cooked onion and celery, the sage, roasted corn, chicken stock, salt, and pepper and mix well. To stuff and roast the pheasant: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Season the pheasant cavity with some of the salt and pepper, then put the stuffing inside. Truss with skewers or tie with butcher's twine. Season the bird with the remaining salt and pepper. Lay the bacon over the breast. Place the pheasant on a metal roasting rack set inside a roasting pan and place on the middle rack of the oven. Roast for 25 minutes, basting the legs once or twice with the pan juices. After 25 minutes raise the temperature to 450 degrees and finish the bird for 10 minutes more, or until golden brown with an internal temperature of about 140 degrees near the thigh. To prepare the sauce: While the pheasant is roasting, puree the corn kernels in a food processor. You should have about 2 cups of pure. Place in a small saucepan with the habanero. Bring the juice to 200 degrees. Do not boil or the sauce will break. Add the lime juice and salt. To serve: Let the bird rest for 5 minutes before carving. Take the bacon off the breast and carve the bird, dividing the breast and thighs. Serve with the corn sauce and sauteed leeks.
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