It’s that time of the year yet again, the end of the shooting season and what a season it’s been. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a wetter one, I’ve been soaked more times this season than in the passed ten altogether, the things you endure for your sport.
The last few shooting days have been good for ducks and woodcock but poor for pheasants, they don’t like the rain.
I drove down to Devon last Friday, the very last day of the season, I counted at least twenty dead pheasants on the side of the road, all road kill. I think it’s ironic that they managed to escape the guns all year only to get run down by a car on the last day.
The Saturday before the season’s end was Beaters Day, this is always entertaining as it gives the Guns a chance to be a bit smug but also gave the Beaters a good day as without them we wouldn’t have the sport we have and it’s really important to show our gratitude for their efforts, they had a really good day and shot well. I was complimented by many of the Guns and Beaters about how well Millie worked, she was magnificent and really deserved the praise.
As I said earlier I went down to one of the most magical places in the world, The Duke of York in Iddesleigh. If you’ve never been here you don’t know what you’re missing, this must be the closest place to heaven on earth, try it, you know you want too.
I cooked a Chicken Chasseur with a difference the other day, I used Vermouth instead of wine, this was suggested to me by an Italian lady.
Melt 25g of unsalted butter in a heavy casserole and fry 1kg of chicken pieces until well browned (I used thighs) remove and keep warm. Chop up 4 or 5 shallots and peel but leave whole about 10 small onions (pickling type) and fry it all in the same butter/chicken juice for 5 mins, when they are just beginning to brown at the edges add a glass of dry vermouth (about 150ml) and flame off. When the flames have died put the chicken back in with a bouquet garni, bay leaf, a pinch of ground nutmeg, a tin of chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper and gently simmer covered for about 1 1/2 hours.
When the dish is cooked add 200g of small button mushrooms for the last 10 mins or so, sprinkle some chopped parsley over and serve. I had fine beans as an accompaniment together with a petit Parisienne, enjoy.
Guess what, on our last shooting day, the transitional walk up, we went down to the Peli for our last shoot lunch and the Hunt turned up.
I really must compliment Steve for organising a fantastic lunch at short notice.