Five-bird roast - UK Independent

This five-bird roast recipe can be made at home, cutting the meat into strips and rolling in air-dried ham. Better still, it can be prepared the day before cooking. 

Five-bird roasts often contain only game birds, but this one includes chicken to lighten the flavour.

Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes, plus overnight resting, 2 hours 30 minutes poaching and 1 hour 30 minutes roasting


2 large duck legs

2 large duck breasts

2 large chicken breasts

300 g sausagemeat

​100 g semi-dried cranberries

100 g pistachio nuts, chopped

1 tsp juniper berries, crushed

16-20 slices air-dried ham, eg, Parma or similar

​4 grouse breasts

4 pheasant breasts

6 partridge breasts


Sous vide equipment

Boning knife


Ensuring your boning knife is very sharp, bone the duck legs by cutting out and removing all of the bone and cartilage. 

Cut each of the duck breasts and chicken breasts into three length-ways, and slice the duck legs into strips.

To prepare the stuffing, place the sausage meat, cranberries, pistachios and juniper berries in a bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands​. 

Lay several layers of cling film, each about 60 x 30 cm, out on a work surface. Lay the slices of ham onto the cling film to form a rectangular base (smaller than the cling film) to start building the roast.

Lay the duck breast in a line down the centre of the ham, then lay about half the stuffing mix in a thin sausage either side of the length of the duck. 

Lay the chicken strips along one side of the stuffing, end-to-end to cover the exposed length of ham. 

Repeat with the grouse, pheasant and partridge breasts and duck leg until all of the meat (except the stuffing) is used up – the ingredients should all be laid out in even lines. Top with the remaining stuffing mix.

To roll the roast, take one side of the cling film and roll and wrap the ham over to encase the meat and stuffing, forming a large sausage encased in the ham and cling film.

Place in the fridge to rest overnight.

To cook, preheat a water bath to 75 C and, making sure the roast is completely sealed in cling film, cook for 2½ hours. 

After this time, remove from the cling film, place in a roasting tray and cook at 180 C for 1-1½ hours. 

To check that it is cooked, slide in a sharp knife – the juices should run clear.

If you don't have a water bath, remove the roast from the cling film and carefully wrap in foil. Roast in the oven at 160 C for 2 hours, then remove the foil and roast for a further 1-1½ hours at 180 C until the juices run clear.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes. Cut into thick slices and serve.

Recipes courtesy of Great British Chefs.