Extravaganza of game and fungi

Extravaganza of game and fungi

Complete Mushroom Book
Alastair Hendy

The autumn mushroom season coincides with the beginning of the game season. However, although I use them here, it is seldom you will find fungi such as ceps, St George’s mushrooms, chanterelles or morels, because they appear in springtime. But to me this quartet of mushrooms represents the acme of the fungi world, and I like to combine them with the sublime flavours of the different breasts of game birds. And if you really want a feast of tastes, then add a little truffle, either shaven or in the form of oil, to the breasts. This is food nirvana!



Quantity Ingredient
6 breasts each of pheasant, pigeon, quail and partridge
plain flour, for dusting
85g butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons brandy
1 teaspoon truffle oil
2 tablespoons good aged balsamic vinegar
Basic stock
or water, from soaking the morels
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste


Quantity Ingredient
200g st george’s mushrooms
200g fresh ceps
200g chanterelles
100g fresh morels
or 30g dried morels, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes
40g butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced

Beetroot salad (optional)

Quantity Ingredient
800g beetroot, freshly boiled
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons coriander leaves, torn


  1. First make the beetroot salad, if serving. When cool enough to handle, skin the beetroot, and cut into thin slices. Sprinkle with the vinegar, coriander and some salt and pepper, and leave to cool completely, for the flavours to merge.
  2. Prepare the mushrooms by cleaning and trimming as appropriate. Cut the St George’s mushrooms into quarters. Leave the fresh ceps whole if they are small, or cut in half if larger. Halve the fresh morels. Drain the dried morels (if using), reserving their soaking water.
  3. For the birds, first dust the breasts with flour then, starting with the largest breast, fry them in the butter and olive oil until they are lightly browned.
  4. Repeat with all the breasts, cooking the smallest and most tender – the quail – last. When all are cooked, set them aside and keep warm.
  5. Add the brandy, truffle oil and balsamic vinegar to the pan. Boil to deglaze the pan and loosen all the cooking juices. Add some stock or water if need be.
  6. Boil until you have a liquid sauce. Adjust the seasoning. Return the breasts to the pan and keep warm.
  7. Meanwhile, to cook the mushrooms, heat the butter and oil in another pan and add the morels, followed by the chanterelles, ceps and, lastly, the St George’s mushrooms. Sauté briefly just to soften and lightly brown them. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to finish.
  8. To assemble, arrange the breasts on a large platter and intersperse with the fungi, so the breasts look as if they were studded with jewels. Serve the gleaming red and green beetroot salad to one side. You will then need to open some bottles of an important red wine. Forget about the cost, and just enjoy!
wild food
Complete Mushroom Book
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