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Grilled Pheasant with Creamy Polenta and Gremolata Sauce

Grilled Pheasant with Creamy Polenta and Gremolata Sauce

Grilled pheasant rests over polenta.

A fresh, bright and light season-transitioning meal, grilled pheasant pairs perfectly with and polenta and gremolata sauce

To put it simply, this recipe is the perfect transition-to-spring meal. It’s comprised of some very zesty, bright tones while also incorporating some warm comfort in the form of polenta with mixed-in goat cheese. The entire dish is incredibly easy to make despite its fancy-sounding name.

Gremolata is a basic green sauce made from fresh parsley, lemon, garlic, salt, and olive oil. That’s essentially it. It’s become very popular recently and is the standard accompaniment for many braised meats, including osso buco. Truthfully, gremolata pairs well with any dish you wish to add a bit of fresh brightness.

Further, polenta is just a fancy word for yellow corn crits. Again, this piece is easy to create, just work up your standard yellow corn grits and add some goat cheese.

The vegetables and mushroom choices are entirely up to you. When creating this recipe, I was early for fiddlehead and morel season, but I’d encourage you, if you have the time and the means, to incorporate those spring favorites into this recipe.

Lastly, I used pheasant for this dish, but you are welcome to use any white-flesh bird you have in your freezer. Yes, you can even use waterfowl or your red-flesh upland birds like sharp-tailed grouse—just make sure to serve medium-rare if doing so.

Grilled pheasant rests over polenta.

Grilled Pheasant with Creamy Polenta and Gremolata

Jack Hennessy
Looking for a fresh, light season-transitioning meal? Look no further and welcome spring with grilled pheasant and gremolata atop polenta.
4.50 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people
Calories 3591 kcal



  • 3 cups water boiling
  • 1 cup Bob's Red Mill yellow corn grits
  • 3 tbsp goat cheese
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


  • 2 bunches flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves removed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp freshly minced garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 lemon juiced and zested

Suggested vegetables and mushrooms

  • 1 lb asparagus and/or fiddleheads sautéed
  • 3 oz fresh morels or shiitake mushrooms sliced
  • 2 oz pea shoots or alfalfa sprouts quickly sauteed
  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


  • Pound pheasant breasts with a meat mallet to thin a bit, then lightly salt and pepper and leave out at room temperature for 1 hour prior to cooking.
  • Begin making polenta. Bring water to a boil, then add Bob’s Red Mill yellow corn grits and reduce heat to medium low. Stir for 5 minutes then turn heat to very low and cover. Do not stir in goat cheese until ready to serve.
  • Begin making the gremolata by removing the stalks from the parsley bunches and very finely chopping the leaves. Add to a medium mixing bowl, then add remaining ingredients and mix in thoroughly. Salt to taste. Set aside in fridge until ready to serve.
  • To sauté vegetables and mushrooms, heat a thin layer of olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces and sauté alongside fiddleheads until seared. Add sliced mushrooms and lightly salt and pepper, stirring until mushrooms soften. Add 1 tbsp of salted butter and stir in, then turn heat to low. Only add pea shoots or sprouts a few minutes before serving and cook briefly on medium heat while still maintaining their texture.
  • To cook pheasant breasts, heat a grill or skillet to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly coat pheasant with olive oil and grill each side for 2-3 minute until the internal temperature reaches 155. Pull and allow pheasant to rest 5 minutes before carving.
  • When ready to serve, stir in the goat cheese while polenta is still warm. Add a scoop of polenta to the plate followed by the sliced pheasant and sautéed vegetables and mushrooms. Drizzle gremolata overtop. Enjoy!


Calories: 3591kcalCarbohydrates: 91gProtein: 269gFat: 235gSaturated Fat: 65gPolyunsaturated Fat: 47gMonounsaturated Fat: 104gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1012mgSodium: 2245mgPotassium: 3680mgFiber: 11gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 8899IUVitamin C: 163mgCalcium: 368mgIron: 23mg
Keyword Grilling, Pheasant
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