Pheasant Salad with Cranberry Dressing

Pheasant Salad with Cranberry DressingStill trying to lose weight after Christmas?
For anyone who has never tried game, you are missing out on a lean and healthy option. Pheasant has virtually no saturated fat and only one gram of fat per 100 grams of meat. Modern cooking and storage methods mean that game does not need to be hung for long periods to make the meat tender, so most of the game birds sold today benefit from shorter cooking times and should be served slightly pink.

The Pheasant season in the UK is from October 1st until February 1st, though due to farming, pheasants are available out of season.  Ask your butcher to portion up your bird into drumsticks, thighs and two boneless breasts (also called supremes). Also, ask for the carcass which you can freeze and make stock out of another time.

Ingredients (serves 2 people)
1 dressed pheasant (portioned into breasts, thighs and drumsticks)
75g (3oz) sun-dried cranberries
1/2 large orange
1 Tbsp cranberry jelly
1  tsp grain mustard
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
Sea salt
Black pepper
Half a bag mixed salad leaves
4 slices Black Forest ham
6-8 cooked new potatoes
25g (1oz) butter


  1. Put the dried cranberries into a small bowl and cover with 50ml boiling water. Allow the cranberries to soak for five minutes and then drain.
  2. Squeeze the juice from the 1/2 orange onto cranberries and then add 1 Tbsp of cranberry jelly and stir. Now add the 1 tsp grain mustard, 2.5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and sherry vinegar. Finish the dressing with the chopped, fresh tarragon then season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Preheat oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.
  4. Drizzle over the remaining ½ Tbsp olive oil onto all of the pheasant and reserve the breasts to cook later.
  5. Wrap drumsticks and thighs in a slice of Black Forest ham, season lightly with salt and pepper. Slice each potato into three to four slices and place together with drumsticks and thighs in a small non-stick roasting pan.
  6. Roast until tender (about 20 -25 minutes), remembering to turn meat and potatoes from time to time. During last five minutes, add 1/2 of the butter to help brown the meat and potatoes.
  7. In the meantime, wash your salad leaves and drain well.
  8. As soon as you have added your butter to the roasting pheasant legs and potatoes then heat up a non-stick pan, to cook the breasts.
  9. Fry the pheasant breast starting skin side down, and then turn after about four minutes.  When you turn the pheasant breasts then add the remaining 1/2 of the butter.
  10. Season breasts lightly, continue to cook for further four minutes and then remove from the heat.   Allow all of the pheasant to rest before serving.

To Serve
Place a nice mound of salad leaves at the centre of two large dinner plates. Carefully arrange a drumstick and thigh on top of the leaves, now top with a breast. Scatter the potato slices around the plate then drizzle with the dressing.

Chef’s Tips
*Some of you may still have a bag of fresh cranberries sitting in the fridge from Christmas that you could use instead of the sun-dried cranberries. Just wash and drain the 100g (4oz) cranberries well, then place in a small nonstick saucepan.  Sprinkle lightly with caster sugar and squeeze the juice from half a large orange and cook down over a low heat until the cranberries are cooked.  Remember you don’t want them sweet, just not too tart.  Allow the cranberry pulp to cool then add the rest of the ingredients (oil, grain mustard, sherry vinegar and tarragon). You will probably need a little more of each of these ingredients given the volume of the cranberries.

Remember, salad dressings are all about the balance of the acidity against the sweetness of the other ingredients and the oil.  A  good way to taste test is to use a little piece of salad leaf rather than a spoon so you will know how the completed salad will taste.

Don’t forget to visit my other blogs
Easy & Cheap Student Recipes-A great resource if you are a student or just learning how to cook.
Old Blog Posts– A growing archive of posts from my original food blog, which had 20,922,573 page views from its beginning in February 2006 until December 2015.

Kevin Ashton © 2006-2018 All rights reserved. No content on this website including, but not limited to, text and photography may not be reproduced without prior explicit written consent.


23 thoughts on “Pheasant Salad with Cranberry Dressing

    1. I know that ring-necked pheasant was introduced to the US and Canada in the late 18th century. And is sold by game meat companies such as Rocky Mountain Game Meats. If you can’t find anyone who sells pheasant in your area then you could substitute with a skin on chicken breast and adjust the cooking times. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment, your kind words are very much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. You cannot get pheasant in the US..not easily. It is one of my favorite dishes.
    You’d be horrified by how midwesterners cooked it back in the day.

    I’m telling ya…save this for late night horror stories…



    turn back now


    …. last warning…

    Hunters and farmers took this bird, cut it up, put it in a casserole dish, poured Campbells cream of mushroom soup over it and then put frozen Tater Tots on top and stuck it in an oven at 350 F until well done. Exceedingly done.

    I told you to turn back.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Perhaps your story may be one of the reasons why pheasants and not easy for US consumers to buy at the moment. 😦 However, I do think things are changing, MacFarlane Pheasants in Wisconsin not only sells pheasants from their farm shop they also have a helpful webpage that shows you where you can buy pheasants. MacFarlane also helps others get into the pheasant farming business, so clearly, the interest in lean healthy pheasant is on the rise. You can also buy pheasants online from which is located in NJ. I hope this info helps 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. MacFarlane Pheasants in Wisconsin not only sells pheasants from their farm shop they also have a helpful webpage that shows you where you can buy pheasants.

    MacFarlane also helps others get into the pheasant farming business, as does
    So clearly, the interest in lean healthy pheasant meat is on the rise in US.
    .You can also buy pheasants online from
    which is located in NJ. I hope this info helps.
    Best Wishes

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s