1 pheasant (or 2 grouse or 3 chukars)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup white wine (enough to cover)
1 small onion, stuck with 3 cloves
1 rib celery with leaves, sliced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp. thyme or tarragon (or 1/4 tsp of each)
1 bay leaf
3 medium potatoes, cubed
1 medium onion, diced or 4 shallots, minced
2 carrots, diced
1 rib celery, sliced
4 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
3 cups broth
1 pinch saffron*
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tbsp. Worcestershire or Harvey's sauce
pie crust or biscuit dough (Bisquick can be used)
Simmer the bird in a kettle in wine-water to cover, along with clove studded onion, celery with leaves, peppercorns, salt, thyme or tarragon and bay leaf until pheasant leg is tender, perhaps 1-1 1/2 hours. Remove the bird to cool.
Cook the potatoes in the same stock until they are tender (you can put the potatoes in for the last 20 minutes of step 1 or you can cook them separately). Retain 3 cups of the stock.
Bone and dice the bird.
Prepare dough for crust.
Saute onion or shallot, carrots and celery in the butter until carrot is soft. Stir in flour, cook a minute or so, and then off heat, stir in the broth, saffron, cinnamon, nutmeg and sauce. Return to the heat and simmer this gravy for 3-4 minutes, correcting for thickness with cream.
Put diced pheasant, potatoes, and other vegetables in the sauce in a casserole, cover with crust, and bake in a 500º oven for about 15 minutes or until crust is brown.