Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Pheasant with Mushrooms

I love Pheasant when done right. It is a bit expensive but if you want to change up the typical chicken dinner for something a little more special try this recipe. * If you can't use Brandy use something you know is safe for you. Corn is the main ingredient in making hard liquors so pick something like a very heavy wine as an alternative. Scared to ruin a pheasant? Try it out first on a chicken....I did!


  • 1oz. dried wild Italian mushrooms or 1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup warm water, if using dried mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, if using fresh mushrooms
  • 1 (2-1/2 to 3-lb.) domestic pheasant
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup brandy
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 3 fresh sage leaves or 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup dry Marsala wine or port
  • 2 cups canned crushed Italian-style or whole tomatoes

Don't let this seemingly long list get to you. It is worth the wait. Make sure everything is prepped and measured out ready to go.


  1. If using dried mushrooms, soak in warm water 20 minutes. Drain mushrooms, reserving liquid.
  2. Strain mushroom liquid. Rinse mushrooms under cold running water. Squeeze to remove as much moisture as possible.
  3.  If using fresh mushrooms, saute in 2 tablespoons oil or until golden; set aside.
  4. Divide pheasant into 4 pieces. Wash and dry pheasant pieces throughly.
  5.  Melt butter with 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy casserole. When butter foams, add pheasant. Brown on all sides over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  6.  Add brandy. When brandy is reduced by half, add carrot, onion, celery, sage and parsley. Saute until lightly browned.
  7. Add Marsala or port and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  8.  Press tomatoes through a food mill or sieve, to remove seeds. Stir tomato pulp into casserole.
  9. Cover casserole and reduce heat. If using dried mushrooms, add to casserole with reserved liquid.
  10.  Simmer 50 to 60 minutes or until pheasant is tender. Turn meat occasionally during cooking.
  11.  Cook uncovered 10 to 15 minutes longer.
  12. If using sauteed fresh mushrooms, add the sauce during last 5 minutes of cooking.
  13. Place pheasant on a warm platter. Taste and adjust sauce for seasoning, then spoon over pheasant. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Source: Biba Caggiano-Northern Italian Cooking page 87

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