Three-bird roast by Craig James

11 January 2007
Three-bird roast by Craig James

(Serves two)

20g butter
1 banana shallot
125g sausage meat
50g fresh white breadcrumbs
50g dried apricots
25g flaked almonds
5 leaves sage, finely sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pheasant, spatchcocked - remove all bones except the drumsticks (make sure you remove the thigh bones)
1 male duck breast, fat removed and trimmed, leaving no silver skin or sinew
1 pigeon, spatchcocked, with all bones and skin removed
1 large white onion
2 bay leaves
100ml demi-glace

For the bread sauce 1 shallot
1 bay leaf
4 cloves
375ml milk
30g fresh white breadcrumbs
Double cream to taste

Method In a thick-bottomed pan melt the butter, finely dice the shallot and add to the butter, cooking without colour. When soft, remove from the heat and mix in the sausage meat and breadcrumbs. Roughly chop the dried apricots and mix together. Toast the flaked almonds and add to the mix, finishing with the sage, and correct the seasoning.

Lay the pheasant on a chopping board, skin side down. Slice the duck breast horizontally but not quite all the way through. Open up the duck breast and lay on to the pheasant. Next, lay the prepared pigeon on top. Roll the stuffing into a sausage shape about 5cm in diameter and lay down the middle of the birds, in between the breasts. Carefully close the birds up by folding each side over, and then tie the roast with butcher's string to stop it coming apart. Season the roast and seal until golden brown in a hot pan. Place in a roasting tray. Finely slice the onion and spread around the roast along with the bay leaves. Pour about 4cm of hot water into the tray and cover with foil. Roast at 225°C for 30 minutes then remove the foil and take the roast out of the tray. Pour the stock and onions into a pan and then replace the roast in the tray. Return to the oven without foil for a further 15 minutes. Reduce the liquor from the roasting tray with the demi-glace until a thick sauce is obtained, and then either pass the sauce or leave the onions in for a more rustic gravy.

Once cooked, remove the roast from the oven and allow to rest for eight minutes before carving. Serve with the gravy and bread sauce. Game chips are also a good accompaniment.

To make the bread sauce, peel the shallot and lay the bay leaf over. Attach the bay leaf to the shallot with the cloves, place in the milk and simmer. After 15 minutes remove the shallot and whisk in the breadcrumbs. Allow to stand for five minutes. Adjust the seasoning, then serve. A little double cream can be whisked in a the last minute for a richer sauce.

Craig James, head chef, Quaglino's, London

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