Philippa Davis' crispy pheasant breast with parmesan and spiced root veg slaw is both sweet and earthy, and makes good use of seasonal produce

It can feel tricky to cook with seasonal produce in February, but we have root veg in abundance. Try Philippa Davis’ crispy pheasant breast with parmesan and spiced root veg slaw to enjoy the spoils of the season.

There is nothing more disappointing than a dry pheasant, yet the late-season birds can scupper even the most experienced game cook. Follow our advice for the best way to cook pheasant breasts to ensure perfection every time.


Offering a delicious combination of sweet and earthy flavours, lots of root vegetables are also good to eat raw and they make great salads and slaws.

Serves 2

Veg slaw

  • 50g parsnip
  • 50g celeriac
  • 60g carrot
  • 50g beetroot
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 6 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • A pinch chilli flakes
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped mint


  • 2 pheasant breasts, skin off
  • 4 tbsp sour cream
  • ½ tsp Worcester sauce
  • ¼ tsp hot paprika
  • 25g finely grated Parmesan
  • 50g breadcrumbs (panko work best)
  • 200ml approx frying oil

To serve

  • A small handful of fresh coriander and parsley

To make the slaw, peel and grate the raw parsnip, celeriac, carrot and beetroot on the large side of a grater.

In a bowl, whisk the lemon, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard and chilli flakes.

Stir in the chopped herbs and grated veg, then season well.

The slaw can then be kept in the fridge until ready to eat.

For the pheasant breast, butterfly the breasts by laying them flat on a board and slicing horizontally from the thinner side towards the fatter without going all the way through (on the fatter side). Open up the breast so you have a nice, flat, thin piece of meat that’s almost like a large heart shape.

In a bowl, mix the sour cream, Worcester sauce and paprika. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the pheasant breasts to the bowl and make sure all sides are coated in the sour cream mix.

Cover and leave in the fridge for 1 hour.

Mix the parmesan and breadcrumbs in a bowl.

Scrape off some of the sour cream from the breasts and coat in the breadcrumbs.

Place a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add about 1cm frying oil.

Fry the breasts for a couple of minutes each side until cooked.

Remove and place on a piece of kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.

Serve hot straight away with the slaw and a garnish of fresh coriander and parsley.