This take on pheasant could not be more simple. Take three ingredients and just add pheasant - the older the better.

Pheasant Guidwife could not be simpler to cook. If you are at a loss how to tackle your birds then start with this truly tasty one pot recipe. It is one of our very best top 10 best pheasant recipes. Just add three ingredients to the pheasant you have and the job is well and truly done. The only admin needed from the chef is slicing onions and scooping out spoonfuls of chutney and sneaking a glass of red. One for the pot, one for the cook…

For something slightly more modern try our Italian pheasant recipe. Or if your taste in bird differs our 10 best partridge recipes instead.


Cook a vat of rice (there is a secret way of doing this in the Aga that is hard to master – ed.) and feast contentedly.

This pheasant Guidwife recipe originally came from a cousin who had links with South Africa and brought back bottles of Mrs Ball’s Original Peach Chutney in her luggage when she travelled there; mango also works well.

It’s perfect for the “old stager” pheasant with spurs a mile long, and it freezes brilliantly.

Serves 4

■ Salt and ground black pepper
■ 2 pheasants (old is best)
■ Sunflower or other oil for frying
■ 3 large onions, peeled and sliced into rings
■ 6-8 tbsp peach or mango chutney or other fruit chutney
■ 11⁄2-2 large glasses red wine
■ 1-2 tsp cornflour if needed

Preheat the oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas Mark 3. Salt and pepper the pheasants and then in a large, flameproof, cast-iron casserole (a Le Creuset one with a lid is perfect), brown the birds all over in the oil and set aside.

Then fry the onion rings gently in the same pot until slightly coloured and soft, stirring to make sure they don’t burn. Sit the browned pheasants, breast up, on top of the onions and spread a thick layer of chutney over them. Pour over the red wine, then pop on the lid and cook for 1½-2 hours. It will work perfectly in a clay pot if you have one. If you want a slightly less runny sauce, you can thicken it with a teaspoon or so of cornflour.

Serve it with rice or mash to soak up the juices, and plenty of vegetables.