Cinnamon Pheasant Zinfandel

A cinnamon-spiked coating gives the pheasant exquisite flavor. The crowning touch is a rich, sweet-savory sauce featuring dried cherries.

CHERRIES

3/4 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

CINNAMON-FLOUR

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

PHEASANT AND SAUCE

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons butter, softened
4 boneless pheasant breast halves, skin on, wings attached
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup white Zinfandel wine
3/4 cup Basic Game Stock or chicken broth
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

1. Heat oven to 325°F. Line shallow baking pan with foil. Place cherries in small bowl. Heat vinegar until hot. Pour over cherries. Let stand 10 minutes. Drain; set aside.*

2. Meanwhile, in shallow dish, combine all cinnamon-flour ingredients; mix well. In small bowl, combine 2 teaspoons cinnamon-flour mix and 2 teaspoons of the butter; blend well. Set aside. Coat pheasant breasts with remaining cinnamon-flour.

3. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter and the oil. When butter is melted, add pheasant breasts skin side down; cook 5 to 8 minutes or until brown, turning once. Place in baking pan.

4. Bake 12 minutes or until juices run clear.

5. Meanwhile, place same skillet over high heat. Add wine; bring to a boil. Boil, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan, until wine is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Add drained cherries and stock; return to a boil. Boil until reduced by half. Whisk in reserved flour-butter mixture; cook until slightly thickened.

6. To serve, place pheasant breasts on serving platter. Top with sauce and sprinkle with parsley.

TIP *Vinegar may be reserved and used in another marinade or a salad dressing.

4 servings

PER SERVING: 460 calories, 25 g total fat (8.5 g saturated fat), 42 g protein, 18 g carbohydrate, 125 mg cholesterol, 345 mg sodium, 2 g fiber

Get a recipe for venison: Venison Sauerbraten.