A pheasant breast is the same thing as a chicken breast – a cut of plump meat that comes from the front of the bird. Pheasant can be less tender and succulent than chicken however, and so you might need a few ideas on how to cook it so that it is truly tasty. That’s where we come in! Let’s find out how to cook pheasant breast in the oven so that it is melt in the mouth and delicious.
How To Cook Pheasant Breast In The Oven
Pheasant is a game bird, which means that it is essentially wild (although pheasants are usually farmed for shooting and meat these days). They spend their days roaming around in the wild, developing good strong muscles.
This makes for a tasty meat, but one that is considerably leaner than a fat, sedentary chicken! You can’t just roast a pheasant for hours and expect the result to be anything resembling edible; they need careful cooking and relatively precise timings.
There are simple, easy and quick ways to cook pheasant that mean that you end up with a juicy pile of succulent meat rather than a pile of chewy mess on your plate.
It really is easier than you might think, and even if you’ve never cooked pheasant before and are intimidated by it, you can still create a delicious meal with a few startlingly simple steps.
1. Simple Roast Pheasant Breasts
This is a super easy and fast way of cooking pheasant breasts in the oven. You don’t need a lot of time or equipment, and you should be left with a delicious result!
What you’ll need:
- 4 x pheasant breasts
- 100ml chicken stock
- Knob of butter
- Heavy frying pan
- Baking tray
What you’ll do:
Preheat your heavy based ban for a minute or two, then set it to a low temperature.
Season the pheasant with salt and pepper, then add them to the pan, skin side down.
Allow them to cook for 1 minute until slightly crisp, then turn them over using the tongs and sear the flesh side for a further minute.
Pre heat the oven to 200C/Gas mark 6.
Add the stock to your baking tray, then place the breasts in, with the skin side facing up. Cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes. This will result in a tender, moist breast, which may still be slightly pink (slightly pink is fine for pheasant; it is not like chicken that has to be completely cooked through before it is ok to eat – think of pheasant as the steak of the poultry world).
Leave the meat to rest for 5-10 minutes before you serve it, to allow the juices to permeate the meat and make it more tender.
You can then add a knob of butter to the remaining juices in the pan, swirl it around and stir it until it has thickened slightly, then use this as your gravy.
Serve with mashed potatoes and braised cabbage.
2. Bacon Wrapped Pheasant Breast
Wrapping the pheasant breast in bacon adds a little fat to this lean meat, thus making it slightly more moist. Also, the bacon adds a new depth of flavour.
What you’ll need:
- 4 x pheasant breast, with the skin removed
- 8 x streaky bacon rashers, with the rind removed
- 1-2 crushed garlic cloves
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
- Heavy bottomed frying pan
- Garlic crusher or the back of a knife
What you’ll do:
Crush the garlic, and rub it along with the salt and pepper into the pheasant breasts.
Wrap each breast in 2 rashers of bacon, then cover and refrigerate until you are ready to cook them.
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas mark 5.
Coat your baking tray with olive oil, then place this on the hob onto a medium high heat. Cook the breasts for 5 minutes on each side, using your tongs to turn them halfway through.
Place the tray into the oven and leave them for 8-10 minutes. Remove them from the oven and serve – no need to rest this type of pheasant breast.
This type of pheasant is best served with mashed potatoes, sauteed spinach, or just about any other vegetable that you fancy.
You can serve pheasant with just about any type of veggie that you like; it is considered a dish that is eaten in the autumn, so autumn veg side dishes go very well. Pheasant is traditionally eaten with game chips – thinly sliced, deep fried potatoes, as well as things like braised cabbage or cauliflower dishes.
- Read also: How To Cook Lamb Heart On Its Own
Pheasant is a delicious, gamey tasting meat, that can be a real talking point at a dinner party – if you cook it well! As long as it is cooked quickly, and allowed a bit of extra fat, then it can turn into a wonderful, tender and tasty meal. For alternative methods of cooking pheasant breast, check out this guide with some slow cooker recipes.