How to prepare a three-bird roast

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

How to prepare a three-bird roast

"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" Barney Desmazery, Food editor

The recipe: 

Chestnut & wild mushroom stuffed three-bird roast

Step-by-step guide:

Step one
Step one: 

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



Step two
Step two:

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.



Step three
Step three: 

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



Step four

Step four: 

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



Step five

Step five:  

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



Step six

Step six: 

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



Step 7

Step seven:

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



Step eight

Step eight:

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



Step 9
Step nine:

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



Step 10

Step ten:

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



Step 11
Step eleven:

Lay the duck breast in the middle of the stuffing.



Step 12


Step twelve:

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



Step 13

Step thirteen:

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


step 14
Step fourteen:

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



Step 15
Step fifteen:

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



Step 16
Step sixteen:

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



Step 17

Step seventeen:

Tie it once around the length to hold the stuffing in and tie the legs together. Can be prepared up to 1 day ahead.



Step 18Step eighteen:

Before roasting, rub all over with the softened butter.





Serve the three-bird roast at a dinner party or as an alternative Christmas centrepiece. Or, if you've made your own multi-bird roast, share your tips with us below... 

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Comments, questions and tips

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Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
23rd Nov, 2014
How do you calculate the cooking time?
goodfoodteam's picture
5th Dec, 2014
Hi there, thanks for your question. Step 8 in the recipe explains about cooking times:
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.