Fagiano alla Contadina: Pheasant, Farmer Style

Total Time:
50 min
5 min
Inactive Prep:
45 min
6 servings


  • 2 small pheasants
  • 2 tablespoons lardo or fat back
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 rosemary branches
  • 1 (16-ounce) can peeled tomatoes and their juices, crushed by hand
  • 1 ladle chicken stock (see attached)
  • 8 slices pancetta
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Quarter the birds and season with salt and pepper. In a 14 to 16-inch skillet, heat the lardo over high heat. Sear the poultry on all sides, then remove to a plate and reserve.

Add the onion, sage, bay leaves, garlic, and rosemary and cook over high heat 5 minutes. Add the stock and tomatoes, bring to a boil, and return the poultry to the pan, each piece wrapped in pancetta (secure with a toothpick if necessary). Reduce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until juices run clear from a piece of the bird.

Remove bird pieces to a serving platter, check sauce for seasoning, stir in parsley and spoon over pieces.