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Pheasant Breast

When pheasant breast is cooked, does it resemble chicken breast (white) or duck breast (red) ?

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  1. Pheasant breast meat is lighter than duck meat when cooked but would not be confused with chicken. I usually pheasant breasts more like chicken (cooked all the way through) than duck breasts (medium rare).

    5 Replies
    1. re: John E.

      I live on a small farm and my experience with fowl meat and color is limited, but I can say the age of the bird and the sex effect the color. Our older (2 year old) roosters have dark meat throughout. Our young birds have white normal store bought meat. I am butchering some peafowl for thanksgiving but I am betting the hens will be lighter than the older cocks. Perhaps that is the confussion... sex and age of the bird?

      1. re: tortuga diver

        peahens and peacocks for Thanksgiving? that's just a tad baroque IMHO. will there be a whole roasted pig served with a toddler riding astride painted gold, beating it with palm fronds? I hope so, take pictures please.

        1. re: hill food

          Gosh. I'd like to see pictures as well. And recipes - Google seems to have very little. I'm pretty sure I've never seen them available for meat, even at farmers markets. I suspect that, here in the UK, peafowl are almost invariably kept just as display creatures.

        2. re: tortuga diver

          I would love to hear more about cooking peafowl... and how does it taste??

          1. re: OCEllen

            Oh, and their eggs and laying habits...have you eaten their eggs?

      2. It's been a long time so don't take my word for it, but I remember the ones we ate at boy scout camp were a bit darker than chicken thigh. They were nothing close to the color of duck.

        1. Is it farmed or hunted? The farmed ones I've cooked have been just about as white as chicken breast, with a sort of tighter texture. The odd thing about pheasant is their fat (again, on the farmed ones) - it's much yellower tthan chicken or duck fat.

          1. It does not resemble duck at all when cooked, so it will be either white like chicken breast or darker brown like chicken thigh depending on where your pheasant comes from, (wild or farmed) like mentioned by buttertart.

            1. Never white in my experience.

              A bit darker than chicken leg and similarish to cooked through duck.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Harters

                Your birds must be quite different from ours. Himself is very fond of it and we have it once a month or so. Even the legs are not very dark.

                1. re: Harters

                  Duck is a distinctly red meat. There is no question that pheasant is much lighter in color than duck but it can be pinkish like a pork shoulder when wild - still not dark red like duck though. I'm with buttertart here, on a farmed bird the breast is really quite pale and the legs are equivalent to chicken legs.

                  1. re: Shaw Oliver

                    Legs somewhat paler, even. But see below, I had pheasant in London earlier this year and it was darker than chicken thigh. Different breeds? Feed? Je ne sais pas.

                2. We hunt pheasants all the time here in Minnesota. The meat is very white and a caution-it can be very dry if you don't use some liquid while baking it. The meat is excellent and firmer than chicken breast.Even the darker pieces are lighter than chicken dark meat.A good cooking method is to dredge in seasoned flour, brown lightly on both sides, and layer in a deep casserole first with thinly sliced sweet onions and pats of butter, then another layer of meat more onions and butter and top with cream or half and half just to cover. Place glass lid on top and bake in slow oven(300degrees) for 2 hours.Meat should be very tender and moist.Kind of a Pheasant Under Glass type recipe adaptation.Hope this helps.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Libbyinmpls

                    very dry, I always drape bacon over it during roasting.

                  2. When I was quite young my dad had a job where he could literally walk out the back door of his office and walk some cornfields pheasant hunting, shoot a pheasant and be back in his office in under an hour. Since he was the boss and the pheasant were plentiful then, he did it quite often. My mother used to tell the story about how they got to go to the governor's inaugural ball, black tie affair, white gloves for the ladies (this was the 60s) and she was excited to go and get away from her 3 bratty sons for a weekend. She was looking forward to the elegant meal in the fancy hotel ballroom etc. and then they served the meal. It was pheasant under glass (anybody know what that really is?). She wasn't impressed at all, she was tired of the stuff although at least she didn't have to cook it too.

                    1. Thanks for the responses.

                      I ordered pheasant breast recently, and what came out resembled chicken. I'd never had pheasant before, and was expecting it to be like squab or duck.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: dump123456789

                        Had a really good pheasant breast Kiev at the Harwood Arms in London last winter and come to think of it, Harters, it was considerably darker than what we get here. A bit rosy inside. I'd like another one right now.

                        1. re: buttertart

                          I was going to order Pheasant Kiev when we were there - but was seduced by lamb chops (in fact the best thing on the plate proved to be two haggis/turnip croquettes that were an accompaniement)

                          1. re: Harters

                            It was mighty tasty, perfect for a winter's night. When I grow up I want to live in England.