One Pot Chinese Pheasant by Chef Tyler Viars

Photo by Chef Tyler Viars

I Don’t Think So, General Tso: One Pot Chinese Pheasant

“This recipe is adapted from Travel Channel host, Andrew Zimmern. It is one of my favorite gameday snacks and only takes one pot! Not to mention it throws a curveball to the usually pitched buffalo wing. Zimmern’s recipe originally calls for chicken wings but with the Ringneck Pheasant being a Chinese bird, it only seems right to pay homage to its origination.

Rather than just the wings, I chose to use whole bird. Reason being, the flavors are intense and awesome. The combo of heat and sweet sing a perfect harmony on the tongue while the familiar flavors of soy and ginger fly us to Asia. Topped with sesame seeds and fresh cut scallions it melds flawlessly together. Break out the chopsticks and pour some sake, it is time to take this Chinese rooster from the forest to fork.” 

Note from the chef: Most of the sauces, spices, and the chile can be found in the ethnic isle of most grocers.

Serves 6-8


2 whole pheasants, skin-on and broken down into five pieces

1/2 cup sake

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce (I like to control the saltiness by adjusting with kosher salt)

Kosher salt to season

5-6 tablespoons brown sugar (Adjust based on the desired sweetness)

3-4 tablespoons mirin (A type of rice wine that is slightly acidic and very sweet)

3-4 tablespoons oyster sauce

5 large thin slices fresh ginger

3 cloves star anise

1 dried hot chile (I used a bird’s eye chile)

1 cinnamon stick

Sliced scallions to garnish (green onions)

Sesame seeds, to garnish


Place a 14-inch nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once heated and working in batches as to not overcrowd the pan, add the pheasants and dry-sear to lightly brown the birds. This takes roughly 4 minutes per side. Once browned place all the pheasant pieces into the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Add all the remaining ingredients: sake, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, mirin, oyster sauce, sliced ginger, star anise, dried chile and cinnamon stick and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered with foil or a lid, for roughly 30 minutes. Remove from lid. If the pan looks dry, add a little more water. Leave the pan uncovered and simmer, tossing frequently to coat, for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the pan is almost dry and the meat is sticky and pulls from the bone. Discard anise, dried chile and cinnamon stick. Finish with the fresh scallions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.


For more on Chef Tyler Viars, find his bio here: 

Categories: Featured, Game Birds & Waterfowl

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