Roasted Pheasant Crown Warm Chestnut, Sprout & Bacon Salad, Cranberry Ketchup by Paul Foster

Here is a Christmas knockout for you! Wonderful chef Paul Foster, head chef at Salt in Stratford-upon-Avon, has created this sumptuous Roasted Pheasant dish for us.

Paul has an amazing culinary history, working across the world, including at renowned restaurants  Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and  L’Auberge de l’Ile. This recipe is another of his modern British showstoppers.


For the Roasted Pheasant Crown

  • 1 pheasant, prepared to the crown
  • 150g salted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 100g smoked streaky bacon, cut into 2cm chunks

For the Sprout and Bacon Salad

  • 200g sprouts, broken down into individual leaves
  • 200g chestnuts, steamed and peeled
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 20g cider vinegar
  • 100g sunflower oil

For the Cranberry Ketchup

  • 250g fresh cranberries
  • 150g light brown sugar
  • 75g balsamic vinegar


Sprout and Bacon Salad:

  1. Discard the first few outer leaves of the sprouts and separate the next layer of leaves. Once you get to the inner of the sprout, where it becomes tight, finely shred and keep to add at the last minute.
  2. Bring a large pan of water to the boil and season with salt. Once the water is rapidly boiling, carefully drop in the sprout leaves and allow to cook for 1 minute.
  3. Drain from the water and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking.
  4. Once cooled, drain off and place onto a towel to dry.
  5. Cut the chestnuts into quarters and keep in a separate bowl.
  6. Mix the Dijon mustard together with the vinegar and oil to create a light vinaigrette dressing. Keep to one side

Roasted Pheasant Crown:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160°C.
  2. Heat a thickbased frying pan and drizzle with oil, season the pheasant with salt and colour all over the breast.
  3. Add the butter, thyme and garlic and start to baste when it starts foaming.
  4. Sit the bird up in the pan and cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until the thick part of the breast reaches 55°C.
  5. Remove the bird from the pan and rest in a warm area for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Take the garlic and thyme out of the frying pan and return to a medium heat.
  7. Add the bacon and begin to fry to a deep, golden-brown colour.
  8. Once the bacon has fried and is becoming crispy, add the chestnuts and fry for 1 more minute.
  9. Add the sprouts (both the blanched leaves and the shredded inners) and cook for a further 1 minute.
  10. Remove from the heat and dress generously with the vinaigrette and season well.

Cranberry Ketchup:

  1. Combine all ingredients in the pan and add a small splash of water.
  2. Cover with a lid or clingfilm and bring to the boil.
  3. Remove the lid and allow to cool down and start to slightly caramelise.
  4. Blitz to a smooth purée and season.
  5. Allow to chill before use.


  1. Check the seasoning of the salad and spoon around a large bowl.
  2. Use a sharp knife to cut along each side of the breast bone of the pheasant.
  3. Carefully work your way down to remove the breast as one.
  4. Season with sea salt and place on top of the sprouts.
  5. Finish with a large spoon of the cranberry ketchup



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