braised pheasant recipe mushrooms
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5 from 1 vote

Braised Pheasant with Mushrooms

While I use pheasant thighs here, obviously chicken thighs will work, too, and in fact might even be better. I also use a variety of wild mushrooms I pick, but feel free to use whatever array of mushrooms you want. Try to use several different kinds, and yes, you can use reconstituted dried mushrooms, too. I really like to use verjus for the tartness in this recipe -- verjus is preserved, unripe grape juice -- but it can be tough to find. Freshly squeezed lemon juice is a good substitute.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Servings: 4 people
Author: Hank Shaw

Ingredients

  • 8 to 12 pheasant thighs, or 4 turkey thighs
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, sliced thinly from root to tip
  • 1 to 2 pounds fresh mushrooms (use a variety)
  • 1 whole head of garlic cloves peeled but left whole
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 quart chicken, turkey, pheasant or vegetable stock
  • Salt and black pepper
  • A splash of lemon juice, white wine vinegar or verjus
  • 4 tablespoons minced parsley

Instructions

  • In a large Dutch oven or pot, heat the butter over medium-high heat and brown the thighs. Take your time and don't crowd the pot. Do it in batches if need be. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  • Remove the pheasant and add the sliced onion and mushrooms. Turn the heat up to medium-high and stir well. You may need another tablespoon of butter, as mushrooms soak up a lot. Cook, stirring often, until the onions begin to brown. Salt everything as it cooks.
  • Deglaze the pot with the white wine; turn the heat up to high. Scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic and the pheasant, skin side up. Let the wine cook down by half.
  • Pour in enough stock to come up to the level of the pheasant skin without submerging it. Doing this will keep the skin crispy when you finish the dish. Cover the pot and cook in the oven for 45 to 60 minutes; you want the meat to be just barely tender. Uncover, turn the heat to 400°F and cook for another 15 to 30 minutes, until the skin crisps up. To finish, add the parsley, then salt, black pepper and some form of acid -- lemon juice, vinegar, etc -- to taste.

Notes

Serve this with good, crusty bread or potatoes, or even polenta. I like a good bitter greens salad alongside and a nice white wine, like a white Cotes du Rhone, a white Burgundy or an oaked Chardonnay. If you are drinking beer, I can think of no better beer to go with this than a blonde bock.