I seriously scoured my cookbooks, the internet, and family resources for a braised pheasant recipe. Luck would have it that nothing sounded that appetizing to me. I knew that I wanted to braise the pheasant because it would keep the bird moist (regardless of the fact that it has been in the freezer since late fall... thanks for the birds, Dad)! Doug was impressed that I even knew how to clean a pheasant and remove the wings. Mmmm... are you losing your appetite yet? I found this recipe on Williams-Sonoma's web site and adapted it for pheasant (you can substitute chicken if you don't have pheasant or other game birds on hand). It was delicious and I plan on using this recipe for future hunting seasons.
Braised Pheasant with Mushrooms & Tarragon
(Adapted from Williams-Sonoma)
Yield: 4 Servings
4 Pheasant Breast Halves (Substitute: Chicken)
Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, divided
1 Small Yellow Onion, chopped
8 oz. Mushrooms of your liking, sliced
1/3 C. Madeira or Dry Sherry
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tbsp. Fresh Tarragon, chopped
Season the pheasant (or chicken) with salt and pepper; be generous. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 2 Tbsp. of butter. Add the pheasant breasts and cook until golden brown on both sides (around 8 minutes; try not to flip them over more than twice). Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1 Tbsp. butter in the same pan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and saute for 5 more minutes. Stir in the Madeira and Worcestershire sauce. Return the pheasant and any juices from the plate to the pan. Spoon the mushroom and onion mixture over the pheasant. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook until opaque throughout (about 20 minutes). Stir in the tarragon at the last minute and season with salt and pepper to your liking. To serve, plate one breast on each plate, spoon the mushroom mixture on top (with the juices... ohhh, the juices!) and serve immediately.