Pheasant Breast in Creamy Wine and Mushroom Sauce
A recipe featured in the Outdoor News Taste of the Wild
Shared by Brad Trumbo – Harvesting Nature
Removing a bird from the freezer conjures visions of high-tailed setters standing staunch on the western plains in the soft orange glow and exaggerated shadows of dawn. As if simply preparing a pheasant dish weren’t reward enough, a recipe like this transforms ordinary into extraordinary, with a complex combination of rich chocolate and oak from dark red wine, the umami smoothness of shiitake mushrooms, and a friendly bite from hot paprika and crushed black pepper. A dressing of cream sauce completes the dish, checking the pinch of pepper with cool perfection.
Brad recommends using a 12-inch cast iron pan to prepare this dish, and adds a note that both wild and pen-raised pheasant are perfectly suited for this dish. If hunting your pheasant isn’t an option, he suggests that other upland birds or even chicken will do well in this recipe.
For the perfect sides, he recommends either asparagus or green beans to complete the plate.
4 pheasant breast halves
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon butter
3 ½ tablespoons brandy
1/3 cup red wine
1 cup half and half cream
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
Freshly ground black pepper
Hot or sweet paprika (optional)
3 sprigs fresh parsley
Dice the shallot into small bits. Chop or dice mushrooms into desired-size pieces.
Slice pheasant breast into two strips each.
Heat olive oil in the pan, then add pheasant, sprinkle with salt, and brown meat on all sides on medium heat. Remove pheasant and set aside, covering to keep warm. Add butter and shallot to the pan, and sauté shallot until pale and soft. Add brandy to deglaze the pan, stirring until the brandy has evaporated. Add mushrooms and sauté for 2 minutes. Add red wine and stir for 30-45 seconds, then add cream and gently bring liquid to a boil while stirring. Once boiling, add chicken bouillon, stirring to dissolve.
Once bouillon has dissolved, reduce to a low simmer, adding pheasant back to the pan to finish cooking. Continue cooking over low heat until the sauce has thickened to desired consistency.
Top with black pepper, paprika and parsley
About the Contributor
Brad Trumbo is a fish and wildlife biologist and freelance writer in southeast Washington, focused on the conservation of endangered species, and fish and wildlife habitat restoration and management. His home life is devoted to maintaining a small homestead with his wife, Ali, for produce and valley quail, serving Pheasants Forever as a Life Member, and officer and Advisory Board Chairman for the Blue Mountain chapter. Brad also serves on the Northwest Outdoor Writers Association Board. In his free time, Brad explores wild places with his pack of Llewellin setters, his lovely wife, and the best friends and family imaginable. Brad contributes to the occasional magazine and guest blog, writes a monthly outdoor column titled “Upland Pursuits” published across the East Oregonian, Baker City Herald, and La Grande Observer, and is a Field Staff Writer for Harvesting Nature. You can find Brad on Instagram @tailfeathers_upland and his pursuits of fin, feather, and conservation at bradtrumbo.com.