Chicken, Pheasant & Black Pudding Stew

This has to be the ultimate example of a what do I have in the fridge dish. I had made a sweet and sour chicken a few days earlier and had a batch of chicken thighs. The plan was to make a sort of chicken chasseur, with red wine, beef stock and mushrooms. There were a few leeks needing used, and two or three inches of a black pudding.

The dish having been made, I was out at Castle Game buying some pheasant  to make Claire Macdonald's amazing terrine which we featured last year. I had a couple of breasts left over, cooked them separately and added them.

While the technique seems odd, you couldn't have cooked the two meats together. Time is needed to ensure your chicken is cooked through, whereas a pheasant breast takes very little cooking, and will become rubbery if you overdo it. The stew minus the pheasant is very brown, and the latter brightens it up.

For the sweet and sour I would normally cut the meat into thumbnail size pieces Chinese style. For today's dish I cut each thigh/breast into three. Suit yourself.

The pheasant is of course optional and the season has just ended, but you may have, or can buy, some frozen.


4 chicken thighs, fat trimmed off and cut into 3 or 4 pieces; 2 pheasant breasts, cut into 3 or 4 pieces (optional); 1 onion, chopped; 1 medium leek, trimmed, halved lengthways, then cut into thin half moon slices; about 4 - 6 large mushrooms, peeled and cut into small cubes; 2 - 3 slices of black pudding, skin removed, cut into cubes of 1 - 2cm; about 150ml red wine; about 300 - 400ml beef stock; 1 bay leaf; 1/2 tsp dried thyme; olive or veg oil; s + p.


Season the chicken pieces with s & p and brown in some oil. Set to one side. In the same pan, soften the onion and leek. (If there is a lot of residue in the pan, you may want to deglaze it with a little wine or stock before adding the veg.) Return the chicken to the pan, increase the heat and add the wine. Allow to bubble for a couple of minutes to burn off the alcohol, then add the stock. It will look quite liquidy, but you will reduce it. Add the bay leaf and the thyme.

Simmer until the chicken is cooked. Remove it from the pan and set aside. Increase the heat and reduce until it is just a little more liquid than you will ultimately serve. (This is up to you. I don't like sloppy gravy.) Stir in the black pud and mushrooms and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. This will thicken your stew.  Check the seasoning.

If using pheasant, season the breasts and cook in a separate pan. Start at a high-ish heat to get a little colour, then turn down and cook on both sides until done.

Mix everything together and serve. It won't look great, but it will taste amazing.


  1. Paul on 2nd February 2024 at 5:50 pm

    A good recipe

  2. Fiona Garwood on 2nd February 2024 at 7:54 pm

    Interesting combination of ingredients. Not so sure about black pudding, but it’s widely served with scallops. Wee typo 2nd last para! Not that it detracts from the post. Sent from post Canny Man drinks!

    • Tom Johnston on 3rd February 2024 at 11:01 am

      Thanks for pointing out the typo. Black pud is an underused ingredient. It can bring a different dimension to many dishes.

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