A three-bird roast on a serving plate

How to prepare a three-bird roast

If you’re up for a Sunday roast challenge, this delicious, meaty joint made from chicken, pheasant and duck is a great project for a confident cook.

Our three-bird roast is an impressive centrepiece, guaranteed to wow at any Sunday lunch or Christmas dinner spread. You’re sure to get extra points for effort it you make it yourself – and it’s a chance to learn key butchery skills.

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Our very own Barney Desmazery says, ‘Ever since I first tried a three-bird roast, I’ve wanted to create my own recipe. Yes, there’s a lot of prep, but if you prefer, your butcher can prepare all the birds for you, leaving you to start from step eight.’

The recipe: 

Chestnut & wild mushroom stuffed three-bird roast

Step-by-step guide:

1. Cut through the skin on the backbone

A chef cutting through the skin on the backbone of a chicken

Use a sharp boning knife to cut through the skin on the backbone, along the length of the chicken.

2. Run the knife down one side of the ribcage

A chef cutting down one side of the ribcage on a chicken

Run your knife down one side of the ribcage, keeping close to the bone. As you cut, use the other hand to pull away the flesh.

3. Remove the carcass completely

A chef removing the chicken carcass to make a three-bird roast

To remove the carcass completely, snap the wishbone where it joins at the neck, and carefully cut beneath the breast bone.

4. Remove any bones

A chef removing the cartilage and bone from a chicken

With the chicken opened up and skin-side down, cut away stray bits of cartilage and bone like the wishbone.

5: Cut away the thigh bones

A chef cutting the thigh bones off a chicken

Scrape clean and cut away the thigh bones and where they meet the drumstick.

6: Remove the two smaller fillets

A chef removing two fillets from a chicken

Remove the two smaller fillets that run along the breast and set aside.

7: Cut off the feet and wing tips

A chef preparing a pheasant for a three-bird roast

Cut off the feet and wing tips. Repeat all the previous steps with the pheasant, leaving just the breasts attached by the skin.

8. Bring together the prepared birds

A semi-boned chicken, pheasant breasts skinned duck breast and stuffing on a table

You should now have the semi-boned chicken, the pheasant breasts, the skinned duck breast and the stuffing.

9. Roll out the stuffing

Roll out the stuffing

Roll out a third of the stuffing between two sheets of cling film.

10. Place the stuffing inside

Place the stuffing on top of the chicken

With the bird skin-side down, place the stuffing on top of the chicken.

11. Add the duck breast

Place the duck breast in the middle of the stuffing

Lay the duck breast in the middle of the stuffing.

12. Add the stuffing and pheasant

Add the stuffing and pheasant

Add another layer of stuffing, then the pheasant breasts, skin-side down.

13. Finish off with the chicken

Add the chicken breasts

Add a final layer of stuffing and lay the two chicken mini fillets on top of it.

14. Re-form the bird

Re-form the bird

Re-form the bird by lifting the skin up and around the stuffing and fillets.

15. Enclose the filling

Enclose the filling

Pull one edge of the chicken over the other tightly so that the filling is completely enclosed.

16. Tie with butcher’s string

Tie with butcher's string

Flip the chicken over. Using butcher’s string, tie the chicken at regular intervals around the width.

17. Tie around the length

Tie the string around the length

Tie it once around the length to hold the stuffing in and tie the legs together. Can be prepared up to one day ahead.

18. Rub with butter and roast

A three-bird roast rubbed with butter

Before roasting, rub all over with the softened butter.

Now read

Roast dinner hacks
Our best winter roasts
Top-rated roast goose recipes

Serve the three-bird roast at a dinner party or as an alternative Christmas centrepiece.

If you’ve made your own multi-bird roast, share your tips with us below… 

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