Add a shot of armagnac to your pheasant for a truly warming game supper. Try Philippa Davis' pheasant with armagnac, chestnuts and prunes

This pheasant with armagnac, chestnuts and prunes by Philippa Davis is the perfect kitchen supper for a cold night. Armagnac is a type of brandy produced in south-west France, but cognac, calvados or another brandy will also work well.

If your freezer is already filling up delve into The Field’s top 10 best pheasant recipes for inspiration. From the perfect roast, to bangers for the BBQ or a warming broth to stave off sniffles, we have endless suggestions.


Armagnac is a type of brandy produced in south-west France. Its complex flavours, which often include spices, citrus and fruit, help make this dish particularly delicious and the sauce irresistible. Depending on what’s in your drinks cupboard, you could substitute it for cognac, calvados or another brandy.

Serves 2

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pheasant
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped in half
  • 100g sliced chestnut mushrooms
  • 100g roughly chopped cooked chestnuts
  • 8 de-stoned prunes
  • 300ml light game stock
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp Armagnac plus an extra splash
  • 100ml cream

Spatchcock the pheasant or remove the breasts and legs and simmer the carcass in a pot of water for about 1 hour to make a light game stock.

In a frying pan on a medium heat, add the oil and place the pheasant skin side down along with the shallots. Season and fry for five minutes or until everything has started to go golden brown. Add the garlic, mushrooms and chestnuts and cook for a few more minutes before adding the prunes, stock, mustard and 3 tablespoons Armagnac.

Gently simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until the pheasant is just cooked, then add the cream and a splash more stock if needed. Bring back to a simmer, check for seasoning (I like lots of black pepper in this dish) then turn off the heat and leave to rest for a couple of minutes.

Just before serving, add a splash more Armagnac. On a cold night, its perfect served with mashed potato and greens.