Pheasant is a tasty and lean game bird that can make for a delicious meal when roasted in the oven. Roasting it in foil helps keep the moisture in while allowing the bird to become tender and cooked through. This easy roasted pheasant recipe results in crisp, golden brown skin wrapped around tender, flavorful meat in under an hour.

1. Roasted Pheasant Recipe


  • 1 whole pheasant (2-3 lbs)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Aluminum foil


Step 1: Prepare the Pheasant

Start by removing the giblets and neck from the pheasant, either discarding them or saving for another use like making stock or gravy. Rinse the pheasant under cold water inside and out and pat very dry with paper towels. Truss the pheasant by tying the legs together with twine to hold its shape while roasting.

Step 2: Season the Cavity

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon into the cavity of the pheasant. Sprinkle salt and pepper generously all over the inside. Stuff the cavity with the rosemary, garlic, and spent lemon halves. Brush the outside of the bird all over with olive oil and season liberally with more salt and pepper.

Step 3: Sear the Pheasant

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully place the pheasant in the hot skillet, breast-side down. Let cook for about 5 minutes until the skin becomes browned. Transfer the seared pheasant to a plate.

Step 4: Roast in Foil

Tear off a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil, about 18-inches long. Place the seared pheasant in the center of the foil. Bring up and seal the edges of the foil tightly around the bird, leaving space for air circulation inside.

Transfer the foil-wrapped pheasant to a baking sheet. Roast for 50-55 minutes in an oven preheated to 400°F. The internal temperature of the thickest part of the thigh should reach 165°F.

Step 5: Rest And Carve

Remove the roasted pheasant still sealed in foil and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute through the meat. Unwrap the foil, untie the legs, and transfer the pheasant to a cutting board. Carve by slicing off the legs first, then cut breasts into slices working around the bone.

Step 6: Make Pan Sauce

Once carved, tent the sliced pheasant meat with foil to keep warm. Place the roasting skillet over medium-high heat on the stovetop. Pour in 1⁄2 cup chicken broth and stir to dissolve the browned flavorful bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until slightly reduced. Turn off heat, then whisk in 2 tablespoons butter and the juice from the remaining lemon half. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.

Step 7: Serve And Enjoy

Arrange pheasant slices on a serving platter, drizzle with pan sauce, and garnish with more chopped rosemary. This roasted pheasant is fantastic served with roasted potatoes or rice pilaf and sautéed greens or other favorite side dishes. Savor the succulent, flavorsome meat that the foil wrapping helped achieve.

Tips When Roasting Pheasant

  • Let the pheasant sit at room temperature 30 minutes before roasting for more even cooking.
  • If pan sauce becomes too thick, thin to desired consistency by whisking in more chicken broth.
  • Swap herbs like sage or thyme for the rosemary for a flavor variation.
  • Roast a whole lemon alongside instead of stuffing halved lemon inside. Squeeze over meat when serving.
  • For extra crispy skin, unwrap foil for last 10-15 minutes of roasting time.

Whether hunting it yourself or buying farm-raised, roasted pheasant makes for a spectacular entrée for a special dinner. Wrapping it in foil while oven roasting helps ensure moist, tender meat and golden crispy skin in under an hour for a mouthwatering meal.

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julia jane

Julia Jane is a home cook inspired by her mother's cooking. With the desire to share my cooking experiences with everyone, she created this website

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