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    Roast Pheasant with Grape Stuffing

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    Roast Pheasant with Grape Stuffing

    Pheasant is an ideal bird for just two people. This recipe serves four, but if there are only two of you on Christmas Day, it will leave you with an extra pheasant and stuffing to eat cold on Boxing Day. Seedless grapes are quick to prepare, but for a really succulent stuffing, buy large, seeded grapes and peel, halve and seed them. To peel grapes, cover briefly with boiling water, then peel while still warm.

    • Preparation time: 45 minutes
    • Cooking time: 50 minutes to 60 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 45 minutes 60 minutes 45 minutes

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    • Grape Stuffing
    • 1 onion, finely diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 400g seedless grapes, halved
    • 225g soft white breadcrumbs
    • 6 tbsp finely chopped parsley
    • 1 medium egg, beaten
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 85g butter
    • Pheasant
    • 2 oven-ready pheasants
    • 30g butter, softened
    • 12 thin slices streaky bacon

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
    2. Melt the butter for the stuffing in a small pan and gently fry the onion and garlic until soft and golden. Remove from the heat. Add the grapes, breadcrumbs, parsley and egg. Season to taste.
    3. Wipe each pheasant inside and out with a damp cloth and remove any feathers with tweezers. Season lightly and stuff the cavities with the grape mixture. (Wrap any excess stuffing in buttered foil and put in the oven 30 minutes before the birds are cooked.) Smear the butter over the pheasants' breasts, then cover with the bacon.
    4. Put the pheasants in a roasting tray, and place in the oven. Roast for 50-60 minutes, basting every 20 minutes or so. Remove the bacon 15 minutes before the end of roasting to allow the birds to brown. Test to see if they are cooked by inserting a skewer between the breast and thigh. If the juices run clear, the birds are cooked. Remove and leave to rest in a warm place while you make the gravy. Carve, and serve with your chosen accompaniments.

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