Peperonata with Pheasant
Making a good peperonata requires two things: A variety of peppers and high heat. This is not the peppers-and-onions we all love in Italian cooking; that's a slow-simmered dish. This is blasted over high heat on your hottest burner, with your oven fan going full blast. You want the vegetables to be a little charred on the edges, mostly cooked but still al dente. It really is a stir-fry. As for the peppers, just use various colors. This is supposed to be pretty. Green and red are fine, but it's cooler if you toss in some other colors, too. I also like adding a few hotter peppers, just to give the dish an edge.
Servings: 4 people
- 1 quart pheasant broth or chicken broth, or salted water
- 4 skinless pheasant breasts, about 1 1/2 pounds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, , sliced stem to root (about 2 cups)
- 4 to 6 bell peppers (various colors), sliced into strips
- 1 to 2 hot peppers, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup white wine (or the stock you cooked the pheasant in)
- 5 Roma or other paste tomatoes, seeded and cut into chunks
- Salt and black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley or basil
Bring the pheasant broth to a simmer in a lidded pot. Drop in the pheasant breasts, cover the pot and turn off the heat. Let the pheasant cook gently for 20 minutes while you cut all the vegetables for the peperonata.
Once the pheasant has cooked, pull it out and when it is cool enough to handle (but still warm), shred it with your fingers. You can shop it, too, but I like the texture of the shredded meat. Set it aside for the moment.
Put the olive oil in a large saute pan and turn the heat to high. Have the onions ready, and the moment the olive oil begins to smoke, add the onions and saute for 2 minutes, stirring often. Stir in the peppers and stir-fry for another 3 minutes. Mix in the garlic and oregano and stir fry another minute.
Add the white wine and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat and mix in the shredded pheasant meat, the tomatoes and parsley. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Serve hot or at room temperature with crusty bread and a rich white wine (like an oakey Chardonnay or a Viognier) or a dry rosé. If you are a beer drinker, go for an IPA or some other hoppy beer.
Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 215mg | Potassium: 1171mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 4613IU | Vitamin C: 183mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 2mg