Pheasant with Mushrooms and Cream

5 from 14 votes
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Pheasant with mushrooms is a perfect combination of fall flavors, is easy to make and comes together in less than an hour.

Pheasant with mushrooms, cream and greens in a pot.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

This is a homey recipe that brings together the classic combination of mushrooms, brandy, cream and chicken — only I use pheasant breasts here.

Grouse, quail, partridge, rabbit or chicken also work.

I will always use wild mushrooms when I make pheasant with mushrooms, because, well, they’re both wild ingredients. Chanterelles, blewits, morels, porcini — whatever makes you happy. Not a mushroom hunter? Just get some nice store-bought ‘shrooms. Maitake would be excellent, as would shiitake.

There is nothing that is not to love in this dish: The sautéed mushrooms have a dense, almost crunchy texture, thyme has a natural affinity for all mushrooms, cream and butter provide richness, brandy a sophisticated aroma and the pheasant sings a hearty, meaty harmony with the mushrooms, which are the star here.

If you happen to have some glace de viande, commonly known as demi-glace, use that instead of boiling down regular pheasant stock.

I use breast meat here because it is the most common meat people keep off pheasants, and because it cooks quickly. You do have to be aware that you can overcook pheasant breast easily. Better for it to be slightly undercooked; it’ll still be safe to eat.

You can modify this recipe for legs and thighs by simmering them in salted water — essentially making a basic pheasant stock — then stripping the meat off the bones. Strain that stock, boil it down, and add the meat when you’d add the breast meat in the recipe below.

If you have them around, add some greens to the pot, too. I prefer using lambsquarters, amaranth greens, chard or spinach. Spinach would be your best bet at the supermarket.

Pheasant with mushrooms will keep a couple days in the fridge, but it does not freeze well.

Pheasant with mushrooms, cream and greens in a pot.
5 from 14 votes

Pheasant with Mushrooms

You can use any sort of white meat poultry here, as well as any sort of mushroom.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup pheasant stock, chicken or beef stock
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, any kind
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup shallots, minced
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup Armagnac or other brandy
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 pound pheasant breasts (or other white meat poultry)
  • 1 cup spinach, lambsquarters or amaranth greens, chopped

Instructions 

  • Pour the stock into a small pot and boil it down until you have about 1/4 cup. Set aside. Cut the pheasant breasts into strips or chunks and salt well.
  • Slice the mushrooms into large pieces. Heat a large sauté pan over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and shake the pan to keep them from sticking. Dry sauté the mushrooms for several minutes, shaking often, until the mushrooms give up their water. Cook until that water is almost gone.
  • Add the butter and shallot and toss to combine. Sauté, stirring often, until the shallot is translucent and the mushrooms begin to brown.
  • Sprinkle the thyme and a little salt over everything and mix well. Pour in the brandy and use it to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat down to medium-high and cook until the brandy is almost gone.
  • Add the reduced stock, the cream and the pheasant strips and toss to combine. Bring this to a gentle simmer, turn the heat to low and cover. Cook like this for 5 minutes, or until the pheasant is just barely cooked through.
  • Toss the spinach in and serve with crusty bread, egg noodles or mashed potatoes.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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12 Comments

  1. Hank – for some reason I have it in my head that you had a wild homemade recipe for pheasant, mushroom and rice casserole, but as I can’t find anything, I think I was potentially thinking of this. Do you think it would be ok to par cook some wild rice and add to this dish, or would that not mesh?

  2. “…but it does not freeze well.” Would this be also true if it were used as a pot pie filling, and said pies were frozen? Wondering if the crust would prevent the mixture from being wasted. (*Using quail instead of pheasant in the Southwest)

    1. Greg: Yes, that will help. But, the ideal situation would be to make the dish up to including the cream, then freeze that. When you want to make it later, reheat and add the cream. Then eat as is or use as a pie filling. I’ve frozen pie fillings with cream in them, and they’re OK, but at least I can tell when I eat them thawed.

  3. I bought duck duck goose. Love the cook book. Use it alot when I cook goose.
    The recipe are easy to follow and are
    Delicious.. thank you. The first time I cooked a goose I cooked it like a turkey
    As my cookbook said… Wrong..! It came out tuffer then a football. Now I know better.. I can goose very well. Thank you.

  4. I just got back from pheasant hunting in ND and tried this recipe. It was amazing and now my wife wants me to make more for friends. This is the first time I’ve cooked pheasant and this will be my go-to recipe. I’ll pair with garlic mashed potatoes next time.

  5. We loved this recipe! We changed the process a bit, like sautéed the breast separately, cut up after resting and added it back just before serving. I also cooked the mushrooms, sweet onion and some garlic (didn’t have shallots), then adding the spinach, white wine and reduced beef stock. Once this was ready, I added some Wondra and cream. I served it over some cut Fideo pasta. We had some roasted cauliflower and veggie salad to complete the meal. Yes, we had enough for it to make an encore the next night. Thank you for posting this fabulous recipe! ??

  6. Thanks for the great recipe. I rehydrated a bunch of boletes from this summer and cooked some chukar I got over the weekend with it. Excellent!