Pheasant Salad with Fennel

5 from 3 votes
Jump to Recipe

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

pheasant salad recipe
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

It is high summer, and it is hot, hot, hot. Most of the country right now is suffering from triple-digit heat, and no one wants to be in the kitchen. Thus, this cooling summertime salad that relies on a very gentle poaching method that makes the pheasant (or yes, chicken, if you are not a hunter) breast perfectly tender without allowing it to dry out. A touch of fennel makes things even cooler. Enjoy! ~Hank

pheasant-salad with fennel
5 from 3 votes

Pheasant Salad with Fennel

Cooling salads are the way to go in summer. Fennel has the same cooling properties as cucumbers, so I decided to base a pheasant salad on it, adding some fennel pollen and some fresh, green fennel seeds, too. No worries if you can’t find the seeds, though — the salad is good without them. The method for cooking the pheasant — and yes, you can use chicken, partridges, turkey or grouse — is special, and results in very tender meat. You poach the skinless breasts in broth very, very gently. It is foolproof.
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 people
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 2 pheasant or chicken breasts
  • 1 quart pheasant or chicken broth
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons fennel pollen (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons green fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 small hot chile, such as a cayenne, sliced thin
  • Zest and juice of a lemon
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper to taste


  • Bring the broth to a simmer in a lidded pot. Turn the heat off and drop the pheasant breasts in. Make sure they are submerged. Cover the pot.
  • Meanwhile, chop the fennel bulb into pieces you’d want to eat. I like them about the size of my thumbnail. Add all the remaining ingredients and set aside.
  • The pheasant breasts should be fully cooked in 20 minutes. Turkey and chicken breasts are larger and will take longer. A turkey breast might require a full 45 minutes in the warm broth. (Save the broth for soup or something else. It will keep in the fridge a week or so.) When the pheasant is cool enough to handle, shred it into pieces with your hands. I like the texture and appearance of shredded meat, but if this skeeves you out I suppose you can chop it.
  • Mix everything together and let this sit, covered, at room temperature for an hour or so before eating. You can also store it overnight in the fridge.


Let this salad marinate for at least an hour or two before you serve it, so the flavors will all meld. It’s good made the day before, too. I like to eat it with a crisp white wine and some crusty bread as a light summer supper.

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

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

More Upland Game Bird Recipes

You May Also Like

French Garlic Chicken

Classic French 40 clove garlic chicken, made with pheasant. This recipe features thighs, and works with chicken, pheasant, rabbit or partridge.

Wild Rice Salad

A fresh and bright wild rice salad recipe that mimics Crisp and Green’s “wild child” salad. I use grouse, wild rice and dried wild berries.

Spanish Quail with Paprika and Onions

A Spanish recipe for quail stewed with paprika and onions. You then strain off the liquid and serve that with pasta. it’s a great date night dish.

Green Chile Chicken Soup

A recipe for Southwestern style green chile chicken soup, with roasted green Hatch chiles, white beans, greens and a rich broth.

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.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. I’m Chinese. Fennel is a very common vege in North China, probably not in the south since I was born and then had lived in the south for 20 years, it seems I hd never seen them before . The most common way we use it is to stir fry it with egg. Also we will mix them together with mince and use them as stuffings in dumpling or pie.

  2. Jonny: I’ve seen pheasant available at supermarkets in the freezer section. You can also get them online from D’Artagnan and from places like MacFarland’s.

  3. If one is not a hunter but is after a pheasant for this recipe or any other, where can they be purchased? Fennel pollen I have, but game birds seem to be problematic to get hold of without giving a butcher 6 weeks notice. Any thoughts? (lovely salad by the way!)