25 g (1 oz) butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
750 g (12 lb) oven-ready pheasant
200 g (7 oz) shallots, halved
50 g (2 oz) smoked streaky bacon rashers, diced, or ready-diced pancetta
2 celery sticks, thickly sliced
1 tablespoon plain flour
300 ml (2 pint) chicken stock
4 tablespoons dry sherry
100 g (3½ oz) vacuum-packed prepared chestnuts
2-3 thyme sprigs
salt and pepper


1.Preheat the slow cooker if necessary. Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan, add the pheasant, breast side down, the shallots, bacon or pancetta and celery and fry until golden brown, turning the pheasant and stirring the other ingredients.
2. Transfer the pheasant to the slow cooker pot, placing it breast side down. Stir the flour into the onion mixture.
3. Gradually add the stock and sherry, then add the chestnuts, thyme and a little salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, stirring, then spoon over the pheasant.
4. Cover with the lid and cook on high for 3-4 hours until tender. Test with a knife through the thickest part of the pheasant leg and breast to make sure that the juices run clear.
5.Carve the pheasant breast into thick slices and cut the legs away from the body.
6.FOR POT-ROAST GUINEA FOWL WITH PRUNES, fry a 1 kg (2 lb) guinea fowl instead of the pheasant as above.
7.Transfer the fowl to the slow cooker, mix in 2 tablespoons plain flour, then add 450 ml (4 pint) chicken stock and the sherry.
8.Omit the chestnuts and add 75 g (3 oz) halved ready-to-eat pitted prunes instead. Continue as above, but cook for 5-6 hours.

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