Roasted Pheasant

1 pheasant, about 2 1/2 pounds (other fowl may be substituted)
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
6 strips pancetta or other bacon
1/2 cup grape-seed or olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season pheasant inside with salt and pepper and some thyme, then truss for roasting with kitchen string. Bard (cover) breast with bacon slices. Place pheasant on its side in a roasting pan, baste with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 25 to 45 minutes, turning two times and basting carefully. Remove bacon, sprinkle with thyme, and return bird to oven. Allow breast to brown (about 10 minutes). Check for doneness by piercing thigh at thickest part. If juice runs pink, return to oven for 10 minutes. Remove and let stand for 5 minutes. To carve, detach the legs, then the wings, each with some breast meat, then the breast. Meat should be pale pink and moist.

Onion and Parmesan Risotto

1/2 cup unsalted butter
8 cups chicken broth
1 medium Texas 1015 or other sweet onion, finely chopped
2 cups Italian arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 cup Reggiano Parmesan cheese (grated)

In a heavy saucepan heat half the butter over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, heat the chicken broth. Sauté onion until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Add rice and cook for 2 minutes. Add white wine and cook until absorbed. Turn heat up to medium and set timer for 15 minutes. Add hot broth a cup at a time, stirring carefully until each cup is absorbed. Season to taste with salt and pepper. After timer sounds, stir in remaining butter, lemon zest, and grated cheese.

Swiss Chard With Pancetta

1/2 cup pancetta bacon cut into 1/2-inch strips
3 bunches Swiss chard, destemmed and torn into smallish pieces

In a large sauté pan cook bacon over medium-high heat until it becomes transparent and some of the fat has liquefied. Add Swiss chard and sauté until tender.

To serve, arrange pheasant pieces, risotto, and Swiss chard attractively on each plate. Serves four.