Delia Smith's Roast Pheasant

Preparation Time:

15 mins

Cooking Time:

1 hour

Serves:

4

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Whilst looking for a Christmas game dish we came across Delia Smith's Roast Pheasant with chestnut stuffing - what could be better!

Ingredients

2 Pheasants

6 Rashers of streaky bacon, drained and cut in half

Salt and pepper

For the chestnut stuffing

4 oz Roughly chopped chestnuts

1/2 oz Butter

1/2 Medium onion, finely chopped

3 Rashers of dry cure streaky bacon, derided and chopped

2 tsp Freshly chopped thyme

1 tbsp Chopped parsley

4 oz pork sausage meat

For the port and chestnut sauce

3 fl oz Ruby port

4 oz Chestnuts (halved)

1 tbsp Plain flour

1/2 pint Wing game stock (use chicken stock if you don't have any)

Method

1. Make the stuffing: Heat the butter in a small medium heat pan, cook the onion and bacon until golden (about 10 mins). Allow to cool and then mix with the remainder of the stuffing ingredients

2. Wipe the inside of the pheasants with damp kitchen paper and season well. Stuff both birds equally. Rub the softened butter on the skins of the birds, and then lay the bacon over the breasts. Place in a baking tray and loosely cover with foil. Place in a pre-heated oven (200C) for 30 mins and then remove the foil. Baste the birds and return to the oven for a further 30 mins (basting often). Remove the bacon (to a heatproof plate) and place on a lower part of the over. At the same time baste the birds again and cook for a further 15 mins. Transfer to a warm plate.

3. Make the sauce: Pour off any excess fat from he roasting tin then place over a medium heat and stir the flour into the juices. When smooth, add the port and then whisk to remove any lumps. Gradually add the stock, season and taste. Now add the remaining chestnuts (halved) and simmer for 5 mins. Pour into a jug.

4. Carve the pheasant and serve a breast and leg with some bacon, stuffing and sauce to each guest.

5. To make it even more Christmassy add season vegetables and some roasties!