Spatchcock Pheasant with Chermoula

Spatchcock Pheasant with Chermoula

Get the bbq on and enjoy a grilled pheasant with a simple sauce…
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Pheasant
Servings 4


  • 2 pheasants oven-ready
  • 4 preserved lemons
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • juice of two lemons
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp sea salt plus extra for seasoning
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds toasted
  • 100 grams fresh coriander
  • ground black pepper
  • 2 whole garlic bulbs cut into halves
  • olive oil
  • fresh thyme leaves


  • Lay the pheasants breast-side down on a chopping board with the neck end facing away from you. Using a pair of poultry shears, cut all the way down one side of the backbone. Turn the pheasant around and cut all the way down the other side of the backbone. Turn the pheasants over, lay your hand flat across the breasts and push down firmly to flatten. Put the pheasants onto a roasting tray.
  • Halve the ingredients as you will need to use one half for the marinade and the other half for the sauce. To make the marinade, quarter the lemons, scrape away the flesh and seeds and roughly chop into the bowl of a food processor. Add the remaining marinade ingredients and blend until smooth. Pour the marinade over the pheasants, working it under the skin on the breasts. Cover the pheasants with cling film and pop in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight).
  • Thirty minutes before cooking, remove the pheasants from the fridge and preheat the bbq. With the pheasants breast-side up, insert a skewer diagonally through the thigh, leg, breast and out the other side and repeat with a second skewer so that the pheasants are held flat.
  • Put the birds on to the bbq, breast-sides up, and cook for around 40-50 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Brush the halved garlic bulbs with a little olive oil and cook alongside the pheasants until slightly charred. Once the pheasants are cooked, set aside and allow to rest for about 15 minutes while you make the sauce.
  • Quarter the remaining lemons, scrape away the flesh and seeds and finely chop into a small mixing bowl. Crush the garlic and add to the lemons along with the remaining oil, lemon juice, paprika, chilli flakes and salt. Grind the remaining cumin seeds to a coarse powder with a pestle and mortar and add to the mixture. Finely chop the remaining coriander and add to the sauce, stir to combine and season to taste.
  • Remove the skewers from the pheasants, carve into pieces and put onto a serving dish. Scrape up any resting juices and pour over the pheasants. Serve with the sauce, the garlic and some fresh thyme leaves scattered over.
Keyword Pheasant