- 1/4 cup Scotch whisky
- 2 oranges, cut into 1/8ths
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 (2 to 2 1/2-pound) pheasants
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 6 slices bacon, halved
- WHISKY CUMBERLAND SAUCE:
- 1 cup Scotch whisky
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons grated orange zest
- 1 cup red currant jelly
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch cayenne
- Serving suggestion: wild rice
- For the pheasant: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a bowl, toss the oranges with 3 tablespoons of the whisky. Rub the pheasants with the remaining 1 tablespoon of whisky and lightly season with salt and pepper. Stuff each pheasant with the oranges and 1 sprig of fresh thyme, and close the cavities with skewers. Wrap the breast of each pheasant with the bacon and set in a roasting pan. Roast the pheasants until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 160 degrees F., about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes.
- For the Whisky Cumberland Sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine the whisky, orange juice, and orange zest, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by 50 percent in volume to about 3/4 cup. Add the currant jelly, salt, and cayenne, and stir well.
- Cook until thickened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour into a decorative bowl. Cool slightly before serving.
- Remove the bacon from the pheasant breasts, if desired, and cut each bird in half. Discard the oranges and thyme in the cavity. Serve hot with Whisky-Cumberland Sauce and wild rice.
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