Roast pheasant w/ cabbage, bacon & marsala

A quick and easy, one pot wonder of a dish, with a beautiful wild pheasant at its heart.

Pheasant is often dismissed or overlooked because of its perception as hard to cook and the fear of dry meat. This, though, is a bit of a myth. Sure, overcooked, and the meat will be dry, but that is equally true of any bird, from a teal to a turkey.

People follow the cooking instructions on a supermarket chicken and end up with ridiculously dry breast meat, and it doesn’t seem to perturb them from buying and eating it. So rather than showing it fear, instead show a pheasant a delicate hand when cooking, and you’ll be in for a treat. This recipe is straightforward and perfect for a light midweek supper.

Serves 2



  1. Take your pheasant out of the fridge 1 hour before you intend to cook it.
  2. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  3. Take a large, heavy bottomed pan or casserole dish and set it over a medium heat. Add the lardons to the pan, along with a touch of olive oil. Cook until golden brown and swimming in their own fat.
  4. Season the pheasant inside and out with sea salt and then stuff the thyme into its cavity.
  5. Place the pheasant in the pan and brown off amongst all the lardons and their fat. Turn and rotate the bird as you go, making sure that all the skin browns.
  6. Remove the bird from the pan and replace with the cabbage. Cook over a medium heat for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Then add the Marsala, chicken stock, and a good twist of black pepper. Season well and simmer for a minute, before nestling the bird into the cabbage and transferring to the oven for 7-8 minutes.
  7. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for at least 10 minutes.
  8. Check the seasoning of the cabbage and adjust as necessary. Then carve the bird from the carcass and prepare to serve.

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