Peter Taylor
NC Pheasant en Mole from chef/owner Cassie Parsons of Harvest Moon Grille and Farmer•Baker•Sausage Maker, Charlotte, North Carolina.
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NC Pheasant en Mole

Cassie Parsons, Harvest Moon Grille and Farmer•Baker•Sausage Maker, Charlotte, North Carolina - September 2013

For 2 servings

Mole:

  • 1 1/2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 sprig cilantro
  • 5 dried red chiles, stemmed, seeded, and soaked in hot water
  • 3 guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded, and soaked in hot water
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. fennel seeds
  • 2 tsps. black peppercorns
  • 2 tsps. allspice
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 2 whole cloves

Place all ingredients in a blender; puree; place in airtight container; reserve.

Purple rice:

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, cut into sm. dice
  • salt
  • 1 cup Carolina purple rice
  • 1 1/2 cups pheasant stock

Heat oil in large saucepan set over medium-high; add onion; season; cook, stirring frequently, until softened and starting to brown; add rice; stir to coat; add stock; bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-high; cover pot; simmer until rice is softened; remove from heat; reserve (keep warm).

Assembly:

  • salt
  • 2 pheasant legs
  • 2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 1 onion, cut into sm. dice
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tsps. black peppercorns
  • pheasant stock
  • 1 pheasant breast, halved
  • ground coffee
  • cilantro leaves (for garnish)
  • corn tortillas (for serving)
  1. Season pheasant legs; heat 1 Tbsp. oil in Dutch oven set over medium-high heat; add pheasant legs; cook, turning occasionally, until browned; place on a plate; reserve; add onion to pan; cook, stirring frequently, until softened; add pheasant legs, bay leaves, and peppercorns to pot; add stock to cover; bring to a boil; cover pot; reduce heat; simmer until cooked through and tender (about 45 minutes); remove from heat; reserve (keep warm).

  2. Rub pheasant breast with coffee; let stand 1 hour; brush off granules; season; heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in sauté pan; cook pheasant breast until browned; flip; cook on other side until browned and cooked through; remove from heat; reserve (keep warm).

  3. To serve, mound rice on plates; place a pheasant breast half and leg on each plate; top with mole; garnish with cilantro leaves; serve tortillas alongside.

What to drink: Pullus Sauvignon Blanc Stajerska 2009