Fagiano arrosto

Roast pheasant with pancetta


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in


By Tessa Kiros

Published 2003

  • About

Pheasant is enjoyed for its unusual flavour and is most often eaten on special occasions during the hunting season.

The slow addition of stock here keeps the meat moist. You may use chicken or guinea fowl instead — the cooking time, however, will be less.


  • 1 pheasant, about 1.2 kg (2 lb 10 oz), cleaned and insides removed
  • about 8 sage leaves
  • 150 g ( oz) thinly sliced unsmoked pancetta
  • 40 g ( oz) butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 125 ml (½ cup) Vin Santo
  • about 750 ml (3 cups) vegetable stock


    Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5).

    Rinse the pheasant in cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Season the inner cavity with salt and pepper, and insert a few sage leaves and a couple of slices of pancetta. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper onto the outside and wrap the pancetta slices around the pheasant to completely enclose it. Tie up with kitchen string to secure it.

    Heat the butter and olive oil in a large ovenproof stockpot. Add a few sage leaves, the bay leaves and garlic cloves to the pot. Add the pheasant and brown lightly for about 10 minutes on each side. Add the Vin Santo and when most of it has evaporated, add 250 ml (1 cup) of hot stock, cover the pot and put it into the oven.

    Cook for 1-1½ hours, until the pheasant is tender, adding another 250 ml (1 cup) of stock halfway through. Remove the lid, add another cup of stock and cook for another 10-15 minutes on each side to brown.

    Remove the pheasant from the pot and remove the string. Cut into serving portions with poultry shears. Serve with the pan juices.