Pan-fried pheasant breast with parsnip purée, parkin and pickled brambles

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James Mackenzie's pan-fried pheasant breast recipe delivers a dish laced with expert touches and packed with autumnal flavour thanks to juniper, thyme, blackberry and parsnip. If you've got time to do some baking, you could make the cake for the crumb using James' own parkin recipe.

First published in 2015




Pheasant breasts


Pickled blackberries

Parsnip purée


  • 100g of parkin, or dark ginger cake

Brussels sprouts

  • 2 Brussels sprouts
  • 1 knob of butter


  • Blender


Begin by marinating the pheasant breasts. Mix together the marinade ingredients in a bowl and submerge the breasts in the mixture to coat. Alternatively, add the breasts and marinade ingredients to a ziplock bag, squeeze out the air and seal. Leave overnight in the fridge
To pickle the blackberries, add all of the ingredients (except the blackberries) to a pan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool, then add the blackberries and leave to pickle for at least 1 hour. Once pickled, remove the blackberries and set aside at room temperature. Decant the liquid into a squeezy bottle
For the parsnip purée, add the sliced parsnips, cream and water to a pan, cover with a lid and cook until the parsnips are soft. Strain, reserving the cream, and add the parsnips to a blender
  • 8 parsnips, sliced
  • 200ml of cream
  • 100ml of water
Add a splash of the cooking liquor to the parsnips and blitz until smooth and silky. Season to taste and set aside
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5
To prepare the parkin, crumble the cake into small pieces and spread out onto a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 3-4 minutes to dry out slightly
  • 100g of parkin, or dark ginger cake
To cook the pheasant, remove the breasts from the marinade. Add the oil to a hot pan and shallow fry the breasts, skin-side down, until golden brown. Once golden, turn over the breasts and place in the oven for 5-6 minutes. Remove and rest for at least 5 minutes after cooking
  • 50ml of vegetable oil
Thinly slice the sprouts and heat a knob of butter in a small pan until it begins to foam. Add the shredded sprouts and toss to coat. Sauté for 1 minute, then remove from the heat
  • 2 Brussels sprouts
  • 1 knob of butter
To serve, arrange the sprouts in a line across the middle of each plate. Place the pheasant breasts on top of the sprouts and spoon a quenelle of parsnip purée onto each plate. Decorate with the parkin crumb and add a squeeze of the pickling liquid and a line of blackberries before serving

Behind every strong man there’s a strong woman and never has that maxim rung truer than at the Michelin-starred Pipe and Glass, where talented chef-proprietor James Mackenzie resides with his equally capable front-of-house wife, Kate.

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