By Jenny and Rick Wheatley
Pheasant with cream of mushroom is a mainstay of upland hunters in the Midwest. Though canned soup is convenient, it will never taste nor look as good as cooking with real, fresh ingredients. You’ve done the work, spent the time (and the money) in the field for your hard-earned game. Why skimp at the table now with .99 cent canned soup?
All the ingredients below should be easy to find. If Marsala isn’t available, use dry sherry or dry white wine. If you’re handy in the kitchen, this recipe should only take about 40 minutes to pull together.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
4 skinless and boneless pheasant breasts
8 to 10 ounces of fresh mushrooms (pictured is Chamshell and Shimeji)
1 large shallot, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon of butter
½ cup of dry Marsala wine
1 cup of low-sodium game or chicken stock
½ cup of heavy cream
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 fresh sage leaves, optional
½ cup of all-purpose flour
Freshly cracked pepper
Chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish
Squeeze of lemon juice
- With a meat mallet, pound each pheasant breast between two sheets of plastic wrap to an even thickness— about half-inch thick. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of breasts.
- Combine flour, ½ teaspoon of salt, and freshly cracked pepper to taste in a bowl. In a pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Dredge flattened pheasant breasts in the flour and then fry on both sides until golden. Add more oilto the pan as necessary. Set fried pheasant aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the same pan and heat over medium-high. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the mushrooms and sauté until golden. Brown mushrooms in batches if necessary and do not overcrowd the pan. Remove the browned mushrooms and set aside.
- Lower heat to medium or medium low, add chopped shallot and sauté until softened. Add garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add Marsala wine and scrape the bottom of the pan to release browned bits. Simmer and reduce wine by half.
- Next, add stock and bring to a simmer for 2 minutes. Turn down heat to low and stir in heavy cream, thyme and sage. Add browned mushrooms and pheasant breasts back into the pan with the sauce. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Do not allow cream to scorch.
- Take off heat when cream thickens; if sauce becomes too thick, loosen it with more stock. Discard thyme sprigs and sage. Squeeze lemon juice on top, garnish with parsley and season to taste. Serve immediately with pasta, mashed potatoes, orzo or roasted potatoes.
About the Contributors
Jenny and Rick Wheatley both grew up in Southern California and connected over a shared love of the outdoors. They started their wild game cooking blog Food for Hunters in 2011, where they share recipes, photos and thoughts on wild food. Today, Jenny and Rick continue to hunt, fish, forage and cook in the Cornhusker State – Nebraska.
Visit their website: www.foodforhunters.com
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