Poached Pheasant with Gin-soaked Grapes

Boozy fruit makes the sweetest of accompaniments to Matt Tebbutt's succulent game dish
By Matt Tebbutt
Poached Pheasant with Gin-soaked Grapes
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus steeping
  • Effort: medium


For the cavolo nero

  • 1 black cabbage, (cavolo nero)
  • olive oil

For the gin-soaked grapes

  • 330 g sugar
  • 350 ml water
  • 1 kg green grapes
  • sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 40 ml gin

For the pheasant

  • 100 ml chicken stock
  • 2 pheasant breasts


1. For the gin-soaked grapes: boil together the sugar and water to make a syrup. Cool.

2. Wash the grapes and put in a sterilised container with the thyme, bay leaf and juniper berries. Pour over the gin and enough of the sugar syrup to cover. Leave to steep for a month if possible.

3. For the pheasant: bring the stock to a simmer. Add the pheasant breasts and poach - do not boil - until just cooked through, but still rare. This will take about 8 minutes, depending on the size. Leave to rest.

4. For the cavolo nero: strip the leaves from the stalks. Heat a little olive oil in a large pan, add the cabbage leaves and toss until just starting to wilt. Season.

5. Slice the pheasant breast and serve with the cavolo nero. Spoon over a few of the grapes in gin.

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