- 50g fresh (wet) walnuts
- 1 head red endive
- 1 head yellow endive
- 1 head butter lettuce
- 1 pomegranate
- 2 pheasant breasts
- 2 pheasant thighs, deboned
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
For the dressing:
- 100ml port wine
- 10ml cabernet sauvignon vinegar
- 50ml olive oil
When working with a whole pheasant, you need to take the legs off the crown, then de-bone the thighs using a small knife and being careful not to lose any of the meat. Gently take the breasts off the bone, too. Roast the rest of the bird and use it as the base of a strong game stock, which will freeze well and make a beautiful sauce for another game dish another time.
- Start the dressing by simmering the port in a saucepan until it has reduced by half. Keep in the fridge until needed.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C. Use a nutcracker to crack the walnuts if they are not out of their shells already. Spread them out on a baking tray and sprinkle with a little salt. Toast in the oven for 5 minutes or so, until they have a lovely golden colour. Set aside to cool on the tray.
- Cut into each endive and the lettuce at the core then pull the leaves off individually and wash in a large bowl of cold water. Drain well and leave to dry on a cloth.
- Cut the leaves into long strips, keeping them looking as natural as possible, and put them in a large bowl.
- Halve the pomegranate, squeeze it at the sides to loosen the seeds, then use a tablespoon to hit the seeds out of each half and into the bowl of leaves. Keep a couple of spoonfuls of the seeds back to garnish the dish.
- To finish the dressing, put the reduced port, vinegar and olive oil in a beaker with a pinch of salt and blitz with a hand-blender so that the dressing emulsifies.
- To cook the pheasant, preheat a barbecue or grill-pan. Once it is very hot, season the meat with a little oil, salt and pepper. Grill the pheasant for 2 minutes on each side, until charred and golden. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for 2 minutes before carving.
- Finish the salad by adding most of the walnuts to the bowl. Pour in the dressing and toss until all the leaves are evenly coated. Transfer to serving dishes. Sit the carved pheasant on top and finish with the reserved pomegranate seeds and walnuts.
Don't feel like getting your hands dirty? Let the chefs do the work for you - book a table at Heddon Street Kitchen.