Compliments of Three Cedars Retrievers
|2 tbls||olive oil|
|4||boneless skinless Pheasant breastsor substitute 8 Chukar breasts|
|2||1/4 teaspoons salt|
|1||1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper|
|1 lb.||white mushrooms, sliced|
|1||large onion, finely chopped|
|5||cloves garlic, minced|
|1 tbl.||chopped fresh thyme leaves|
|½ cup||dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)|
|1/3 cup||all-purpose flour|
|4 cups||whole milk, room temperature|
|1 cup||heavy whipping cream, room temperature (I used fat-free half and half)|
|1 cup||chicken broth|
|1/8 tsp.||ground nutmeg|
|12 oz.||pasta (I used rotini)|
|¾ cup||frozen peas|
|¼ cup||chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves|
|1 cup||grated Parmesan|
|¼ cup||dried Italian-style breadcrumbs|
Preheat oven to 450. Use 1 Tablespoon of butter to grease a 9×13” casserole.
Melt 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil in a deep large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the Pheasant with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add the Pheasant to the hot pan and cook until pale golden and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer the Pheasant to a plate to cool slightly. Coarsely shred the Pheasant into bite-size pieces and into a large bowl. The Pheasant pieces should be about the size of those baby carrots to the size of your thumb or so. This shouldn’t be like pulled pork.
Add 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil to the same pan. Add the mushrooms and saute over medium-high heat until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates and the mushrooms become pale golden, about 12 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme, and saute until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mushroom mixture to the bowl with the Pheasant.
Melt 3 more tablespoons butter in the same pan over medium-low heat. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, cream, broth, nutmeg, remaining 1 3/4 teaspoons salt, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper. This sounds like a lot of salt, but use it all, ok? Increase the heat to high. Cover and bring to a boil. Simmer, uncovered, until the sauce thickens slightly, whisking often, about 10 minutes.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rotini and cook until it is tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Drain. Add the pasta, sauce, peas, and parsley to the Pheasant mixture. Toss until the sauce coats the pasta and the mixture is well blended.
Transfer the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish. Stir the cheese and breadcrumbs in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the cheese mixture over the pasta. Dot with the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown on top and the sauce bubbles, about 25 minutes.