10 to 16 chicken or pheasant thighs,see above for substitutions
Salt and black pepper
2cupswhite or yellow onion, sliced from root to tip
3tablespoonschopped fresh tarragon(optional)
1cupwhite vermouth or white wine
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or other large, lidded pot over medium-high heat. Sear the skin of the pheasant breasts until nicely browned. If you are using skinless thighs, skip this step. Remove the pheasant pieces as they brown.
Add the celery and onion and sauté, stirring often, until translucent and soft, about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Add the garlic cloves, herbs, salt and black pepper and mix well. Pour in the vermouth. Nestle the pheasant thighs into this, skin side up and above the level of the liquid.
Cover the pot and bake in the oven 1 hour. Uncover the pot and continue to cook until the the top of the meat is browned, typically 20 minutes. Serve with lots of good bread.
In general, you'll want about 3 pounds of bone-in white meat for this recipe, from rabbits to partridges, Cornish hens, grouse or partridges.
Keys to Success
I definitely recommend skin-on thighs for this recipe, since the crispy skin at the end is one of the stars of the show.
If you have a choice, find hardneck garlic; it has fewer, larger cloves that are more fun to eat than those little internal cloves of softneck.
The wine you use in the recipe should be what you drink. A white Cotes du Rhone or even a white Bordeaux would be nice here.