The best part of preparing a whole pheasant is how easy it is to roast in your oven. The easy and delicious recipe using pancetta or bacon that is described below is really a beautiful dish. The most significant difference between pancetta and bacon is that bacon is smoked, and pancetta is salt-cured and dried. Pancetta is available in most grocery stores, so don’t let the unusual name scare you away!
I love to serve roasted pheasant with wild rice. Roasted asparagus and spinach salad are complimentary flavors, and our cranberry chutney provides lovely color and flavor and is also available through our retail store.
We have a free cookbook that includes this recipe and a variety of other entrees, appetizers, soups, and salads made with MacFarlane pheasant. Our products are available at our retail store , and through online ordering , so please take the time to download our cookbook, watch videos about pheasant preparation, and try our tried and true recipes.
Roast Pheasant with Pancetta, White Wine, and Rosemary
4 sprigs rosemary
1 lemon, zested, then sliced
1 MacFarlane Pheasant, 2-2.5 pounds
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt & pepper
4 slices pancetta (fatty bacon if you don’t have pancetta)
¾ - 1 cup dry white wine
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the pheasant for baking by removing neck and heart from the cavity, season with salt and pepper. Add several lemon slices and 2-3 sprigs of rosemary to the cavity.
Mix olive oil, remaining rosemary, and lemon zest, coat skin with olive oil. Place the pheasant breast side up in a roasting pan and top with more salt and pepper. Add pancetta or fatty bacon and wine. Place in the oven, basting every 15-20 minutes, check the internal temperature after 40 minutes. When internal temperature has reached 145 degrees remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Use a red wine (like Marsala or Chianti) and add mushrooms or olives to the cavity. To make a more substantial sauce, add heavy cream to the wine and reduce it by half before serving.