Mike Robinson's garlic, lemon and parsley roasted pheasant recipe is unashamedly pungent and stonkingly good

This garlic, lemon and parsley roasted pheasant may be stinking but it is stonkingly good. Simple to prepare and unashamedly pungent, this will quickly become a favourite pheasant recipe.

Pheasant and garlic are simply wonderful together. Try this poached pheasant with ginger, garlic, chilli and lime for a traditional game dish with Far Eastern flavours.


I love this recipe for its unashamed pungency. You must make sure that everyone eats it and no one is left out, otherwise the abstemious person will suffer (if not, the AP’s partner certainly will).

Serves 4

  • 2 hen pheasants
  • 250g (1 block) salted butter
  • 2 lemons, juice and zest
  • Double handful finely
  • 1 tbsp maldon salt
  • chopped parsley
  • 20 cloves garlic

The huge amounts of butter keep the pheasant really moist and quick cooking keeps it tender. I serve it with an appropriate vegetable such as kale but you can put what you want with it.

Start by cutting the backbones out of the pheasants – easily done with a cleaver or game shears. If you don’t have either, buy at least one of them; you won’t regret it. Now cut the breasts in half through the front (between the breasts).

Soften the butter in your hands (don’t be squeamish), then add the lemon and parsley and salt. Peel and finely chop or grate the garlic and add that, too. Mix the lot really well into a squidgy, stinky mass. Slather the reeking paste all over the halved birds, working it in well.

Now put them on a roasting tray and roast at the fiercest heat possible, 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8 is good. Do this for 20 minutes, then take them out and allow to rest, spooning some melted garlic goo over them during the resting period.

Serve after a good 10-minute rest with a lot of very chilled chablis or gewürtztraminer.