Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Rich-Man's Chicken Kiev (Pheasant Parcel)

My mate Adam sometimes goes shooting with his Dad, so he has a fairly plentiful supply of free pheasant. He was kind enough to give me a breast recently so I thought I'd have a go at a recipe.

I had never made pheasant before, but I was aware that it has very little fat, being a game bird, so it needs a bit to be added in order to keep it nice and tender. Here, I did it in two ways - with a garlic and herb butter in the middle and a couple of rashers of streaky bacon round the outside. The result was most agreeable, Mr D'arcy.

Ingredients (for one):

  • 1 x pheasant breast fillet
  • 2 x rashers of streaky bacon
  • Half a garlic clove
  • 1 x pinch of fresh flat-leaf parsley and tarragon leaves, plus an extra parsley leaf to garnish
  • 1 x reasonably sized knob of butter
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Clean the pheasant breast THOROUGHLY so that you know there are no stray bits of feather/other crap. Clean it like you cleaned your hands that time your mum walked in on you having a danger wank.
  2. Chop the garlic and herbs as finely as you can, but make sure you only cut through each section of the bunch once so that you don't lose the flavour. Mix it with the butter.
  3. Butterfly the pheasant breast, i.e. take a very sharp knife and cut it along the centre so that you can fold it out. Try to flatten it a bit - I used my hands to do this but I guess the proper way would be to use a rolling pin or a steak tenderiser.
  4. Roll the garlic and herb butter into a sort of sausage shape that fits nicely in the middle of the butterflied pheasant breast and fold it over. Season it well, then wrap it in the bacon and then again, tightly, in cling film, making sure it's well covered. TIP: if you really desperately want to make sure that it stays tightly wrapped you can chuck it in the fridge for a while; however, I didn't bother and it seemed to turn out fine.
  5. Get an oven-proof pan, add a bit of olive oil in it hot and put the pheasant parcel in the pan. It should sizzle vigorously in the pan - if it doesn't then take it out and put it back in when it's hotter. Brown it on all sides and then put it in the oven for about 15 minutes at 200 degrees.
  6. Serve garnished with a large parsley leaf.
I served mine with mustard mash and strained cooking juices on the side. I liked it, but I can imagine someone finding that to be a bit too much fat on one plate. I think some cabbage would go nicely with this, or perhaps some nice mushrooms, cooked the Italian way with butter, garlic, white wine and a squeeze of lemon juice.

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