I first learned a version of this recipe for pheasant tagine while cooking in the south of France, where the cuisine is so heavily influenced by the Mediterranean. The combination of spices is wonderfully aromatic and lends itself well to any combination of vegetables and protein. In true Mediterranean fashion, the dish itself is light and tangy, using only olive oil, not butter, and a good dose of lemon in two forms. You will need to preserve the lemon in advance or buy it from a specialty spice shop.
A tagine or tajine, is actually a clay pot with a deep cone-shaped lid. It is designed to keep the moisture within the dish. Once the cover is removed, the base can be used to serve from at the table. I tend to use a skillet, though, instead of a traditional tagine, because it browns the meat and vegetables better and can also be served table side. It is also easier to use around the campfire.
Have you ever made a tagine before? Share with me in the comments? And follow along on Instagram and Facebook.
- 8 pheasant legs or 4 legs and 4 breasts, bone in
- 4 medium-size carrots peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 3-inch pieces
- 4 medium-size zucchini halved lengthwise and cut into 3-inch-long pieces
- 2 large red bell peppers seeded and cut into 3-inch-long thick pieces
- 1 whole preserved lemon rinsed well, pulp and pith removed, sliced into strips or diced
- 2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds optional
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup olive oil plus extra for browning
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and let marinate for 20 to 30 minutes.
- Heat a tagine, large skillet, or heavy-bottomed casserole dish until very hot. Brown the pheasant parts in a bit of olive oil until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes.
- Add the vegetables and saute? with the pheasant.
- Deglaze the pan with the marinade from the bowl and then lower the heat.
- Cook, covered, over low heat or in the oven at 350°F for 45 minutes.