For a dinner treat at home, it doesn't get any easier than cooking pheasant breast.
Tasty and tender, without being too gamey, pheasant just takes a few minutes in the pan for fuss free entertaining.
It's the perfect dish to try if you haven't eaten game before too.
The creamy mushroom sauce can be made at the same time, meaning that this dish can be ready in 15 minutes from scratch!
You can even make this with chicken breast if you like, or serve the sauce with chops or steak too.
Have you tried pheasant yet?
I am lucky enough that my window overlooks farmland and I seem to be surrounded by pheasants. These birds are not only beautiful to look at but are absolutely delicious to eat.
Although they are only in season between November and February, many suppliers have frozen pheasant available all year round.
Totally free range, pheasant is low in fat with a slightly stronger flavour than chicken. So, if you haven't tried any game before, it's a good choice to start with.
As pheasants are low in fat, it can be tricky to cook a whole bird without it drying out. However, the the breasts are generally thin, so can be quickly pan fried.
Make this dish for your friends and family. And remember, it's still much cheaper than eating out!
Why you will love this recipe
- Low fat, free range meat
- Quick to cook and prepare
- Great for entertaining
- Ideal if you want to use chicken instead
- Tasty and tender meat
- Pheasant - skinless and boneless pheasant breast about a centimetre or half an inch thick for quick cooking. It's possible to buy pheasant with the skin on, but it is delicate and cooks wuicker without it. If your pheasant breasts are much thicker you can place them in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin to bash them thinner.
- Shallots - the longer, banana shallots are easier to peel, the smaller round ones can be used if you have patience! The shallots add a sweet onion flavour without overpowering the dish.
- Stock - chicken stock, either home made, canned or made with stock cubes.
- Oil - neutral oil for frying, such as vegetable or sunflower.
- Butter - for flavour. If you use salted butter you may wish to reduce the salt in the dish.
- Seasoning - salt and ground black pepper.
- Tarragon - fresh tarragon. This slightly aniseed herb goes really well with poultry and game birds.
- Mushrooms - there is a huge choice of mushrooms available now and you can often buy a mixed pack. I am using beach, oyster and king oyster mushrooms from the supermarket.
- Cream - double or heavy cream.
See recipe card for quantities.
- 2 frying pans / skillets
- sharp knife
- chopping board
- wooden spoon
- serving dish
Peel and finely chop the shallots.
Roughly chop the mushrooms to your liking. Keep in mind that they will reduce in size after cooking.
I prefer to keep the pieces around 1 to 2 centimetres.
💭 Top Tip
- If there is soil on the mushrooms don't be tempted to wash them as they will soak up the water. Then, when they are cooking, the water will be released making the sauce much thinner.
Strip the tarragon leaves from the stems and chop.
⏲️ Cooking Time
Put the oil and butter in a pan over a medium heat.
Add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes until soft, but not coloured.
Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.
Add the mushrooms to the pan.
Cook and stir occasionally for 5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft.
Pour in the stock and cook for a further 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced.
Add the cream and half of the tarragon and simmer gently until the sauce has thickened.
💭 Top Tip
- If you would like the sauce to be thicker mix a teaspoon of cornflour with water and stir in. Repeat if necessary.
While the sauce is cooking, start cooking the pheasant breasts.
Pat them dry with kitchen paper and season lightly.
There may be a few areas of yellow fat, which you can trim if you wish.
As it's only a small amount,I leave this to help keep the pheasant juicy.
Heat the oil and butter in a clean pan over a medium to high heat and add the pheasant breast.
Leave to cook for about 3 minutes then turn over.
The pheasants should be just cooked.
Transfer to a plate and keep warm while they rest for 5 minutes.
It's now time to plate up the wild mushroom sauce.
Check the seasoning and layer the sauce at the bottom of the serving dish.
Top with the pheasant breasts and scatter over the remaining tarragon.
Serve and enjoy!
🥗 Side Dishes
As the sauce is so creamy serve with some simple but delicious side dishes.
- Fried Cabbage with Bacon and Onions
- Pork Stuffing
- Honey Roast Carrots and Parsnips
- Cavolo Nero Kale
- Roast Savoy Cabbage
- Roast Potatoes
- Chateau Potatoes
- Braised Red Cabbage with Apples
- Mushrooms - use any mushrooms you like in this dish. If you can't get hold of any unusual varieties then chestnut mushrooms have great flavour or use the more common white button or closed cup mushrooms.
- Shallots - use brown onion.
- Pork - instead of pheasant cook some pork chops and replace the tarragon with chopped sage.
- Chicken - use chicken breast if you prefer. Dear them in the pan for 2 minutes each side and then transfer to the oven at 180 C / 350 F / 160 FAN / Gas 4 for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Porcini - to give the sauce extra flavour use some dried porcini mushrooms. Place a spoonful on a bowl and rehydrate in boiling water for 10 minutes. Use the water as part of the stock liquid and chop the porcini. Add to the sauce with the stock.
- Refrigerator - cool, cover and refrigerate the sauce for up to 2 days. Cooked pheasant can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days.
- Freezer - the sauce is not suitable for freezing but cooked pheasant can be frozen up to 2 months.
- To reheat - reheat gently in a frying pan or wrap in foil and reheat in the oven at 180 C / 350 F / 160 FAN / Gas 4.
🍱Prepare in Advance
- To save time make the sauce, then cool and cover. Reheat on a low heat before serving.
This is entirely up to you. If you overcook pheasant it can be tough, so I like to cook it until it is pink and let it rest until it finishes cooking,.
Pheasant is free range and not intensively farmed, but it can still give you food poisoning if it hasn't been handled correctly.
More importantly, the main hazzard with pheasant is shot. Please be careful of your teeth and discard any that you find!
More game recipes
- Pheasant and Venison Casserole
- Roast Venison Haunch
- Venison Burgers with Bacon
- Venison Sausage Plait
- Game Terrine
- Roast Partridge
- Duck with Orange Sauce
- Pigeon Breast with Blackberry Sauce
- Duck Confit with Redcurrant Sauce
- Leftover Duck Soup
- Guinea Fowl with Chestnuts and Bacon
Pheasant Breast with Wild Mushroom Sauce
- 2 frying pans / skillets
- Sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Wooden spoon
- serving dish
For the pheasant
- 400 g pheasant breasts 4 breast about 100 g each
- ½ tablespoon butter
- ½ tablespoon oil
For the wild mushroom sauce
- 125 g wild mushrooms
- 2 shallots
- 300 ml double cream
- 200 ml chicken stock
- 2 tablespoon tarragon
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon oil
For the sauce
- Peel and finely chop the shallots.
- Roughly chop the mushrooms to around 1 to 2 centimetres.
- Strip the tarragon leaves from the stems and chop.
- Put the oil and butter in a pan over a medium heat.
- Add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes until soft, but not coloured. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan. Cook and stir occasionally for 5 minutes until the mushrooms are soft.
- Pour in the stock and cook for a further 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced.
- Add the cream and half of the tarragon and simmer gently until the sauce has thickened.
For the pheasant
- While the sauce is cooking, start cooking the pheasant breasts. Pat them dry with kitchen paper and season lightly.
- Heat the remaining oil and butter in a clean pan over a medium to high heat and add the pheasant breast. Leave to cook for about 3 minutes then turn over.
- Transfer to a plate and keep warm while they rest for 5 minutes.
- Check the seasoning of the sauce and layer at the bottom of the serving dish.
- Top with the pheasant breasts and scatter over the remaining tarragon.
- Serve and enjoy!
More game recipes
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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