Pheasant Paillard

Yield: Serves 4

Recipe courtesy of Chef Dilan Draper from Avec Bistro.

Photo by Ingrid Kuenzel


4 pheasant breasts with tenders

454 g pork caul fat

8 g fresh thyme

2 cloves garlic, chopped fine

1 medium shallot, chopped fine

1 oz brandy or cognac

45 g unsalted butter


  1. Sweat the thyme, garlic & shallots in a pan and deglaze with brandy. Add butter and let cool completely.
  2. Next, remove the tenders from the pheasant breast and grind. You can also use ground chicken, roughly 100-110 g will be sufficient. Mix the ground meat with your sweated aromatics and brandy.
  3. Butterfly open the pheasant breast carefully without creating any holes along the seam. Form little cylinders with ground mixture that reach from the pheasant bone to 3/4 the way down to the tip. They should not be too fat because the paillard will burst when cooking.
  4. Take the outside flap and roll tightly over the ground mixture inwards, tuck the bone in. Let the portions sit in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  5. Lay out your caul fat evenly, nice and flat. Lay the pheasant breast down one at a time rolling just one layer of the fat tightly around the portion. Too much caul fat will result in a chewy unpalatable texture! Wrap each pheasant tightly in saran wrap and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 400º F. Heat an oiled pan on high heat, season and sear the pheasant on three sides to a nice golden brown. On the fourth side of searing, place directly in the oven for 12-15 minutes. A thermometer should read 142º F for perfect moisture and consistency. Let it rest for 4-5 minutes before slicing.

You will have 3 nice layers to present from the seared caul fat to the flesh, down to the ground meat. My favourite way to eat pheasant!

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