How to make Princess Anne’s favourite recipe — including the special ingredient that’s probably already in your cupboard

HRH The Princess Royal has guest edited Country Life's 29 July 2020 issue — and one of the features covers her favourite game recipe, devilled pheasant.

We asked John Williams, the Executive Chef at The Ritz in London, to make the dish for us — and to show you how it’s done.

You can watch the video on this page, while the full step-by-step recipe and ingredients are listed below.

There’s nothing to be scared of if this is a recipe you’d fancy trying yourself — and you might well be tempted, given that pheasant will be back in season in just two weeks’ time. (And you can always use frozen birds in the meantime.)

‘It’s a very simple recipe,’ John tells Tom Parker-Bowles in an article in this week’s Country Life.

‘Basically, a couple of whole pheasants are poached, then taken off the bone, shredded and kept warm in the poaching juices. You just add freshly whipped cream, left in the fridge for an hour to stiffen, mixed with a good amount of Green Label mango chutney.

‘It has to be Sharwood’s Green Label, nothing else,’ he smiles. ‘I went out and found that specially!’

Executive Chef at The Ritz London, John Williams. ©Daniel Gould for the Country Life Picture Library

How to make devilled pheasant, Princess Anne’s favourite recipe

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 2 pheasants
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sprig parsley
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 250ml (1/2pt) double cream
  • 1 large jar of Sharwood’s Green Label mango chutney
  • 4 tbspn Worcestershire sauce

©Daniel Gould for the Country Life Picture Library

Method

Put the pheasants in a casserole with the chopped-up carrot, onion, garlic, parsley and herbs. Cover the birds with water and then cover the casserole. Bring to the boil and simmer until tender.

Remove the meat from the bones and pour back the juices in which the birds were cooked. Heat the meat very slowly in the juices, so it does not become dry.

Meanwhile, whip the double cream to a stiff consistency. Leave it in the refrigerator for about an hour until it becomes quite hard, then beat the mango chutney and Worcestershire sauce into it. Keep it cool in the fridge until ready to be used.

Place the flaked meat, throughly drained of cooking juices, in the dish in which it is to be served, cover it with the cream mixture and put it in the oven for 10 minutes to heat through. It’s then ready to serve.

Hint: the birds can be cooked in the morning and the rest of the preparation done about 1.5 hours before dinner, but remember to keep the stock in which the birds were first cooked for reheating.