Spatchcocked Pheasant with Salsa Verde

This recipe will win over anyone who’s ever thought pheasant was dry and tasteless. Spatch-cocking involves cutting along the backbone of the pheasant so it can lie flat when grilled. It cooks at a relatively high temperature, allowing the skin to crisp on the outside, whilst the meat remains juicy and tender.


  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Serves: 2 - 4 people

Ingredients (pheasants)

  • 2 whole pheasants
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped marjoram
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lemon
  • 100ml sherry

Ingredients (salsa verde)

  • 20g parsley
  • 20g dill
  • 20g chervil
  • 2 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 150ml (5fl oz) olive oil
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar


  1. Light the Big Green Egg Direct set up with Cast Iron Searing Grid. Target temperature 180ºC.

  2. Chop the herbs finely and place them in a bowl with the capers, mustard and olive oil and, lastly, the vinegar. Season well and leave at room temperature for flavours to mingle.

  3. Ideally use a pestle and mortar to crush the garlic with a pinch of sea salt. Add the marjoram and pound it in with the garlic. Add the olive oil, then the lemon juice and wine. Season with pepper and stir. 

  4. Pour the marinade on top of the pheasant in a dish, massaging and then turn the pheasant flesh-side down to sit in the marinade. Leave to marinate for at least an hour. 

  5. Place the pheasants on the Cast Iron Searing Grid breast down for 10 to 12 minutes (depending on size of bird), then moving it 90 degrees halfway through to achieve searing “criss cross”.

  6. Flip to cavity side down for a further 5 minutes. To check whether it is cooked insert a Instant Read Digital Thermometer into the thickest part of the leg. It should register 70ºC / 165ºF.
  7. Leave to rest for four minutes then serve with a squeeze of lemon and the green sauce.
  8. Using poultry shears you can cut each pheasant in half and plate a side per guest, or cut and pull the meat apart to make a big pile of help-yourself meat and salsa. It’s messy for you but easier for everyone to help themselves.
  9. Serve with some mashed potato and a green salad.  We’ve also enjoyed posh toast by throwing some slices of sourdough on the searing grid, then piling up the self-serve pheasant and salsa on toast.

Thank you to Big Green Egg for sharing this recipe with us.

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