“…et les faisans, les faisans magnifiques, avec leur chaperon écarlate, leur gorgerin de satin vert, leur manteau d’or niellé, leur queue de flamme traînant comme une robe de cour. Toutes ces plumes lui rappelaient Cadine, les nuits passées en bas, dans la mollesse des paniers.”

“…and the pheasants, magnificent in their scarlet hoods, their throats of green satin, their mantles of enamelled gold, and their flaming tails flaring out like an evening gown. All this plumage made him think of Cadine and their nights in the cellars”

Émile Zola, Le Ventre de Paris


Did you know the collective noun for pheasants was a bouquet? So if you cook two or three of these you’d be able to present a bouquet of pheasants…. lovely idea! You’d also need some extra carvers.

We’re now a couple of weeks into the season and it’s pheasants aplenty. This is one of the easiest recipes ever – and one of the best. The Boursin stuffing keeps the bird moist (pheasants can be dry) and seeps out to contribute to a thick, rich, interesting, creamy gravy. You can treat partridge in the same way.


This recipe just stretches to four with lots of potatoes (I suggest jacket) and vegetables (green beans).


Recipe for Boursin-stuffed pheasant


For 3-4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pheasant
  • 1-2 150g blocks of Boursin with garlic and herbs. If you can’t get Boursin you can use any cream cheese and add your own garlic and herbs. The amount of cheese you can stuff in will depend on the size of the bird
  •  6 rashers of bacon
  • ½ cup/120ml marsala or madeira
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • handful of dried herbes de Provence


  1. preheat the oven to 210°C
  2. put the olive oil in the bottom of the roasting tin to stop the bird sticking to the tin
  3. stuff the bird with as much boursin as you can squash in
  4. cover the bird with bacon, then the whole tin with foil
  5. roast in the bottom of the oven for 1½ hours, removing the foil for the last ten minutes to allow the bacon to crisp up
  6. take the bird out and take out the stuffing. Cover the bird with foil and keep warm for fifteen to twenty minutes.
  7. put the roasting tin onto the hob (drain off any excess fat) and add the marsala, the stock cube, and the dried herbs. Bring to a simmer, take off heat, stir in the stuffing.
  8. carve the bird and serve with the gravy


© 2014 Saucy Dressings

pheasant or partridge recipe

You can treat partridge in the same way

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