Faisan de Colchide, Faisan à Collier.
Behind the French Menu
Most of the recipes for farm-raised pheasant, in France, are taken from those created for wild pheasant.
In keeping with the traditions that began when all pheasant liver pates were made with wild birds, wine, Cognac or Armagnac may be added for flavor. The decision to use Cognac or Armagnac mostly depends on the area where the dish is being prepared. Rather obviously Cognac will not be utilized in the area where they produce Armagnac; that could start a revolution. The French word croûte originally meant a crust, and today when a dish is served en croûte that indicates a dish cooked inside a covering. For a pate this will usually be a pastry covering, other options include vegetables, crushed walnuts, breadcrumbs and more. With a menu listing like this ask how the pate is served.
N.B. Lardons are small cubes of bacon and may be stuffed inside a roast beef or a roast chicken or may be added to a soup or stew for flavor; lardons are as nearly important in many French kitchens as salt and pepper
Salmis originated as a recipe for left-over game birds that had already been roasted. The roasted game birds would be later be stewed in a red or white wine flavored sauce and then served along with mushrooms and other vegetables. Added flavor in the dish above will come from the Armagnac. The use of Armagnac in this menu listing, rather than Cognac, would suggest the recipe came from the région of Aquitaine or the Midi-Pyrénées.
Photograph Courtesy of USFWS Headquarters
Pheasant in the languages of France's neighbors: