Roasting the pheasant in foil keeps the flesh particularly moist. This recipe is best for very young birds and, if you have a choice, request the more tender female birds.
PREP TIME: 15 min
COOK TIME: 45 min
READY TIME: 1 hour
CALORIES: 210 (per serving)
⇓ You may also listen to the recipe by pressing the play button below.
- 2 oven-ready hen pheasants (about 675 g/11/2 lb each)
- 55 g/2 oz/4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 8 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 streaky bacon rashers
- 15 ml/l tbsp plain flour
- 175 ml/6 fl oz/3/4 cup game or chicken stock, plus more if needed
- 15 ml/1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
- 45-60 ml/3-4 tbsp port
- Freshly ground black pepper
1 Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/ Gas 8. Line a large roasting tin with a sheet of strong foil large enough to enclose the pheasants. Lightly brush the foil with oil.
2 Wipe the pheasants with damp kitchen paper and remove any extra fat or skin. Using your fingertips, carefully loosen the skin of the breasts. With a round-bladed knife or small palette knife, spread the butter between the skin and breast meat of each bird. Tie the legs securely with string then lay the thyme sprigs and a bay leaf over the breast of each bird.
3 Lay bacon rashers over the breasts, place the birds in the foil-lined tin and season with pepper. Bring together the long ends of the foil, fold over securely to enclose, then seal the ends.
4 Roast the birds for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 and cook for a further 40 minutes. Uncover the birds and roast 10-15 minutes more or until they are browned and the juices run clear when the thigh of a bird is pierced with a knife. Transfer the birds to a board and leave to stand, covered with clean foil, for 10 minutes before carving.
5 Pour the juices from the foil into the roasting tin and skim off any fat. Sprinkle in the flour and cook over a medium heat, stirring until smooth. Whisk in the stock and redcurrant jelly and bring to the boil. Simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, adding more stock if needed, then stir in the port and adjust the seasoning. Strain and serve with the pheasant.
Calories: 210 Kcal
Fat: 10.29 g
Carbs: 0 g
Protein: 27.56 g
- Port wine is a Portuguese fortified sweet wine typically served as a dessert wine. Because of the sugar content, it is also higher in alcohol, about 19% to 20%. If you have to substitute, use a somewhat sweet red wine, like Merlot, Chianti, Syrah, or Shiraz.
- For extra flavor, add wedges of a cut-up orange and a coarsely chopped onion to the cavities of the pheasants just before they go into the oven. If you have fresh thyme or rosemary, add a few sprigs to the cavities.