This is one of my absolute favourite dishes for pheasant. Juicy, tender, crispy, buttery, sharp and salty, it’s a small island of crispiness to swoop down upon on those days when you can see your breath in the cold air.
3 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp flaked sea salt
a hefty grind of black pepper
4 medium eggs
2 tsp Dijon mustard
100g panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp olive oil
75g salted butter
2 tbsp baby capers rinsed and dried well
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and very, very finely chopped
6 salted anchovies from oil
zest of half a small unwaxed lemon
juice from half a small unwaxed lemon
6 thin slices of pickled walnut
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Remove breasts and skin from the pheasant (make a good soup stock from rest of the bird)
- Take each pheasant breast and beat them out evenly with a rolling pin between two pieces of baking parchment. Flatten to just over ½ to ¾ of a cm.
- Empty the flour onto a plate and add in the salt and mix.
- In a bowl beat together the mustard with two of the eggs.
- Empty the breadcrumbs into a small oven tray.
- Dredge the breasts in the seasoned flour and pat off any excess.
- Dip and submerge each breast thoroughly in the egg bath and then take to the breadcrumb tray to cover well on both sides leaving no gaps in what will be your crispy coating.
- Get your parsley, garlic and capers ready.
- Melt the olive oil and 25g of the butter over a medium heat until foaming and then place the breasts in the pan. Cook on both sides until each is golden brown. 2-3 minutes per side.
- Take great care not to burn the butter and oil, adjusting the heat when needs be.
- When the breasts have been turned to fry on the other side, in a separate pan fry two eggs in some olive oil that they will be ready at the same time as the meat.
- Take the pheasant breasts to two warm plates and crown each with an egg.
- Working quickly, melt the remaining butter in the pan you used for the pheasant and when foaming stir in the anchovies and capers. Grate in the lemon zest.
- Slice the pickled walnuts on a board while the anchovies melt.
- When the anchovies have collapsed, stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or so. Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan and cook a little longer while you lay a few slices of walnut over the meat and eggs and go over all with a good grind of black pepper.
- Stir the parsley into the butter and then spoon the contents of the pan all over the crispy pheasant, egg and pickled walnuts.