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Breast Of Pheasant With Watercress And Potato Sauce

This recipe from chef Richard Rayment of the Ritz-Carlton is both luxurious and easy. You can also cook Cornish hen breasts this way.

4 pheasant breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 tablespoons dry white wine
1/2 pint chicken stock
1 cup diced raw potatoes
5 tablespoons heavy cream
2 large bunches watercress, leaves picked from stems

Lightly season both sides of the breasts with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and half the butter in a frying pan. Add the breasts skin side down and fry gently for 5 minutes, then turn and cook the other side for 5 more minutes. Remove the breasts, which should still be a little pink in the center, to a warm plate and let them rest in a warm place.

Add the rest of the butter to the pan and gently cook the shallot until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and raise the heat. When the wine has reduced by half, add the stock and boil for 1 or 2 minutes, then add the potatoes and cream. Continue simmering with the lid on for 5 minutes. Now add the watercress leaves, season to taste, and simmer without the lid for for another 4 to 5 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Place the pheasant breasts on warm plates and pour over the watercress-potato sauce.

By Claire Hopley, Boston Globe Correspondent

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