• 1x 900g pheasant

  • 2 oranges (skin removed in wide strips then juiced)

  • 4 fresh bay leaves

  • 8 fine slices of Black Pig belly bacon

  • 4 chicken livers

  • extra-virgin olive oil

  • verjuice

  • 4 tbsp walnuts pre-roasted and skins rubbed off

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 small radicchio (2 cups of radicchio leaves per serve)

  • 1 large bulb white witlof (3 pieces witlof per serve)

  • 1 baby fennel sliced finely on a mandolin and drizzled immediately with a sprinkle of verjuice and extra virgin olive oil

  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley leaves

  • fronds from fennel bulb

  • small bunch rocket

  • Vinaigrette (allow 2 – 3 tablespoons vinaigrette per serve)

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • vincotto

  • pheasant jus

  • Marinade

  • juice of the 2 oranges

  • strips of orange

  • 6 sprigs thyme

  • 4 fresh bay leaves

  • 2 tsp crushed juniper berries

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • Glaze made from pheasant bones

  • 1 large onion, unpeeled roughly chopped

  • 2 small fresh carrots, roughly chopped

  • 2 sticks celery without leaves, roughly chopped

  • extra virgin olive oil

  • 80ml verjuice

  • 250ml golden chicken stock


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 220°C

  • 2.

    French the wings of the pheasant. Remove any blood from inside the birds. Cut the legs away from the breast frame keeping the legs as one piece. Cut away the backbone from the breast frame

  • 3.

    Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl

  • 4.

    Brush the entire skin of the pheasant with the marinade, then leave skin side down in the marinade for 2 hours

  • 5.

    On a flat baking tray, place the breast sitting up right and the legs skin side up on tray. Brush liberally with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt

  • 6.

    Roast for 10 minutes, skin-side up, to caramelise

  • 7.

    Turn temperature down to 200°C

  • 8.

    Turn the birds over and after another 4 minutes (approx.) the legs will be ready to take out and put aside on an enamel plate with the orange strips and bay leaves and juices from the

  • 9.

    Baking tray so they don’t burn. Splash legs with a little verjuice

  • 10.

    At the same time, add 2 tablespoons verjuice over the skin of the bird

  • 11.

    Finish cooking the breast – this could be another 4 minutes but feel to check

  • 12.

    Remove the breasts and rest them, skin-side down, add another 2 tablespoons over the breasts. Cover the breast only lightly with foil on its baking dish for 20 minutes minimum. Transfer all of the other ingredients onto the first resting tray

  • 13.

    Allow to cool totally before carving using a very sharp knife

  • 14.

    Cut each breast off the ‘cage’ and put the cut side straight down into the juices of the resting tray

  • 15.

    Cut the drumstick off each of the legs and use for stock (because of the very sharp sinews) and then carefully take out the thigh bone from the centre of the thigh making sure you take the piece of cartilage from the joint as well without cutting through the skin (to keep the thigh intact)

  • 16.

    Place the cut side down in the juices that have accumulated until required

  • 17.

    For some there will be enough natural jus on the resting plate however to utilise the bones and make more of the base for a sauce

  • 18.

    Chop the carcasses and set aside with pheasant legs

  • 19.

    In the hot oven roast the onion, carrot and celery with a drizzle of olive oil for 20 minutes until caramelised

  • 20.

    Deglaze the baking dish with the vegetables in it over high heat by adding another 2 tablespoons of verjuice, stirring well

  • 21.

    Add the carcasses and pour in the golden chicken stock, then boil rapidly to reduce the sauce to a coating consistency

  • 22.

    Strain the sauce and discard the solids. Keep aside to add a little to the vinaigrette or keep for another dish

  • To finish:

  • 1.

    In a dry non stick pan, cook belly bacon till well coloured on both sides

  • 2.

    Place on a piece of absorbent paper at first then add to resting tray

  • 3.

    Using another piece of absorbent, wipe out the pan and add a little butter till sizzling

  • 4.

    Season and pan fry chicken livers till just cooked and still pink inside

  • 5.

    Reserve on resting tray with pheasant

  • 6.

    Add roasted walnuts to tray

  • To assemble:

  • 1.

    Make vinaigrette

  • 2.

    Put resting tray with all ingredients on into 200°C oven for about 2 minutes

  • 3.

    Quickly carve each breast in an equal half and then carve each half into 3 slices on the diagonal

  • 4.

    Position the radicchio leaves, witlof and rocket on 4 individual plates

  • 5.

    In a large bowl, toss pheasant pieces, bacon, livers, orange rind, fennel slices and parsley leaves

  • 6.

    Divide equally between the 4 plates on top of the leaves and drizzle with vinaigrette. Finish with some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Courtesy of Maggie Beer at Melbourne Food and Wine Festival's Langham Melbourne Masterclass.

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