roasted pheasant and wild mushroom bread pudding

Okay, so, I didn’t make this tonight (or even this week), and I forgot to take shots of it.  But, in the interest of pheasant starting with “p” (yes, dear readers, there is a theme to this week, albeit accidental) and clearing out my draft posts pile, here is a rich, delicious post to add to your occasional repertoire.

I think I made this for a special occasion, but at the moment, I don’t remember what.  Perhaps it was to celebrate moving into our new house, or perhaps it was to celebrate the fact that I could still buy pheasant at the market.  Who knows?  The important thing is that I apparently love pheasant.  Pheasant is what chicken should taste like.  It’s chicken-like, but with this extra-rich, sort of gamey flavor to it that just elevates it to poultry heaven.  The bread pudding is good, too – I had leftovers for breakfast with a poached egg on top.

Roasted Pheasant and Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding (4 servings.. at least)


For the Pheasant:

  • 8 c. water
  • 1/2 c. salt
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. maple syrup
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. whole allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. white peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 pheasant
  • 2 c. chicken broth

For the Bread Pudding:

  • 4 c. rosemary-garlic bread, or french/italian-style loaf (about 7.5 oz.)
  • 1 1/2 c. wild mushrooms, chopped roughly
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 c. rice milk
  • 1/2 c. half-and-half
  • 4 eggs


  1. Heat water and all ingredients except pheasant and chicken broth in a saucepan until brown sugar has dissolved.  Cool to room temperature, and submerge the pheasant in the brine.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat.  Cook onion and garlic several minutes, or until softened.  Add mushrooms, and cook until they have exuded their juices.  Increase heat and boil until mixture is nearly dry.  Let cool until room temperature.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together rice milk, half-and-half, and eggs.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine bread, mushroom mixture, and rice milk mixture.  Spread in a medium roasting pan, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 425.  Place a roasting rack on top of the bread pudding mixture.  Dry the pheasant, place on roasting rack, and apply butter or olive oil to the entire bird.  Season liberally with salt and pepper.  If desired, stuff the cavity with onion, apple or lemon, and fresh herbs.
  6. Roast for 15 minutes, and then reduce oven to 325.  Roast another 30-45 minutes, or until internal temperature of the bird reaches 155.  Occasionally baste with chicken broth.
  7. Remove from oven and cover the pheasant loosely with foil.  Rest for 15 minutes before slicing.  Serve with bread pudding.

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