Skip to main content

Pheasants braised in cider with sage and cream

Recipe by: Nikolaj Juel
Serves: 4


I love pheasants and I think they are incredibly underrated. I often hear people have somewhat questionable experience, where the pheasants turn out quite dry. They definitely have that potential. But cooked properly, they are some of the most delicious creatures the game world has to offer.

The most important thing is not to overcook the bird. Specially the breast meat needs some attention. I often take the breast meat off when the bird is almost cooked. The breast meat will be slightly pink, but that’s ok. Leave the breast meat covered and finish later. Return the legs to the liquid for further cooking.

For this recipe I use plucked pheasants, for the reason they still have their skin on. There’s lots of flavor in the skin, and the fat in the skin will also help keeping the meat moist.

Melt the butter in a sauté-pan with 2 tbsp olive oil. When the butter Is foaming, add the pheasants to the pan. Brown the pheasant well on all sides. Take the birds out of the pan and pour off the fat.

Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the pan and add the garlic and sage. Return the birds to the pan and add the cider.

Place the pan in the Forno and turn the birds a quarter every 5 minutes for 35-40 minuttes.

When the cider has reduced by half, add the cream.

After 35 minutes, check the pheasants by lifting the legs out to the sides. If they are still undercooked, cut off the breast filets and return the legs to the braising liquid.

When the legs are cooked through, return the breast meat to the braising liquid for a couple of minutes.

Have a taste, and season with salt and pepper.


  • 2 plucked pheasants
  • 1 bunch sage
  • 1 whole garlic bulb, cut in half
  • 300 ml cider
  • 500 ml double cream
  • Olive oil
  • 50 g butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Season the birds with salt and pepper