" Truman Show, The" Pheasant under Glass

As our hosts can attest, being filmed and watched by millions is not an easy task. Join them as they turn the table on our “Pheasant under Glass.” He’s the real star of the show, but doesn’t know it.


  • 1/2 cup dried morels
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 boneless pheasant breasts (you’ll usually need to order these in advance from the butcher)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup brandy or cognac


1. Place morels in a small saucepan and cover with white wine. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let soak for 20 minutes. Strain soaking liquid through a fine strainer to remove any grit and reserve the liquid. Slice the mushrooms thinly and set aside.

2. Trim pheasant breasts of any excess skin, place between sheets of plastic and gently flatten the thickest part with the side of a cook’s knife. Rub breasts with fresh lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Set aside for 20 minutes at room temperature to take the chill off the meat before proceeding.

3. Melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat in a sauté pan large enough to accommodate the breasts without crowding (or use 2 smaller sauté pans). When the butter begins to foam, place the breasts in the pan skin-side down and sauté about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a warm plate, tent loosely with foil and allow the meat to rest 5 minutes.

4. While the meat rests, return the pan to the heat with the remaining butter and sauté the chopped shallots and sliced morels a minute or so. Deglaze the pan with cognac and ignite if desired (making sure to move the bottle away from the flame). Add the mushroom soaking liquid and heavy cream and reduce the mixture until thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season the sauce to taste with a squeeze of lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne.

Serves 4

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