PV GFS Sauteed Pheasant Breasts With Bacon and Chestnuts


Simple dish, just remember to rest the sautéed breasts for as long as you cook them and do not overcook! The nice smoky flavour of the bacon and its fat make this dish special. This really is in my view the best way to cook pheasant and get a constantly good end result.


  1. Place the oil into a pan, add the pancetta or bacon and cook for about 10 minutes until slightly crisp. 
  2. Add the onion, carrot, bay leaves, cinnamon, tomato puree, thyme, garlic, cloves, chicken stock, white wine, salt and pepper. 
  3. Simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the mixture cooks down by about 2/3rds
  4. When cooked, add the chestnuts, warm through, be careful as the chestnuts will break up if over cooked, and then check the seasoning.
  5. The sauce should be a nice consistency; if not then thicken slightly with a few teaspoons of cornflour, mixed with a little cold water, but not too much as the sauce needs to be silky. 
  6. Lay the air dried ham onto a chopping board, 2 lots of 4 slices, slightly overlapping.
  7. Season the breasts well with salt and pepper then lay inner fillet side up on the slices.
  8. Carefully wrap the breast well nice and tight overlapping well.
  9. Turn them over, and press the ham around the breasts, making sure the folds are now underneath, then chill well for 20 minutes. 
  10. Wrap the pheasant breasts in the air dried ham. 
  11. Melt the butter until its turns slightly brown.
  12. Gently saute the pheasant breasts for 2-3 minutes fold side up.
  13. After 2 minutes carefully turn the breasts over, so they are now sealing the folded side, leaving the presentation side looking lovely.
  14. Saute again for 2-3 minutes. Once cooked remove from the pan and cover with foil.
  15. Make sure you leave to rest for a good 10 minutes.
  16. Slice into 4-5 long slices, the meats should be nice and pink and juicy.
  17. Serve with the sautéed cabbage.


Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes in total

Serves: 2

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 80g smoked pancetta or bacon

  • 1 medium onion finely sliced

  • 1 carrot, finely chopped

  • 2 bay leaves

  • pinch cinnamon, ground

  • 1 tbsp tomato puree

  • 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped

  • 1 tsp garlic, crushed

  • pinch ground cloves

  • 200mls chicken or game stock, strong

  • 1 glass medium white wine

  • salt

  • ground white pepper

  • 80g chestnuts, whole, vac pack

  • 4 young pheasant breasts

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

  • 8 slices air dried ham