Roast pheasant with chestnut stuffing

Roast pheasant with chestnut stuffing
Roast pheasant with chestnut stuffing Photo: Marina Oliphant

A one-kilogram pheasant will serve four people a small amount each, but the meat and stuffing is rich. If you like, you can chop a little sage or tarragon to add to the butter, which you push under the skin of the breast.



100g stale sourdough or country-style bread, crusts removed

1/3 cup milk, warmed

1 onion, chopped

3 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

1 sprig rosemary or a few sprigs of thyme, chopped

6 chestnuts, peeled* and roughly chopped

3 tbsp grated parmesan

1 egg


1 kg pheasant

80g butter, softened

salt and pepper

olive oil

*To peel, slit along one side then boil in water for 10 minutes.Remove from heat and pull chestnuts out one at a time into a tea towel and peel while hot. if they do not peel easily put back in the hot water for a while.


For the stuffing

Cut the bread into cubes and place in a bowl with just enough warm milk to moisten and soften the bread. Cook the onions in the olive oil with a little salt and pepper until golden brown and soft. Add to the bread along with all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly.

For the pheasant

Preheat oven to 175C. Rinse pheasant, pat dry and chop off the head if still attached.

Stuff the bird with the bread stuffing, then push a good bit of butter under the skin of the breasts. Season all over with salt and pepper, place in a baking pan along with your potatoes and vegetables, drizzle with a little olive oil and dot any remaining butter on top. Roast for about 40-45 minutes.

To test if the pheasant is done, pierce the thigh with a skewer - the juices should run clear. Allow to rest, covered in a warm place for 10-15 minutes before serving.