Serves: 1 per person

Difficulty: Easy 

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 20 mins + 10 mins rest

My first woodcock expereince, so I kept it simple and traditional. By no means did that let me down, absolutely fantastic starter and loved cooking with something new and exciting.


I aimed to keep my first cooked woodcock simple and traditional. Shifting through woodcock recipes the theme indicated leaving the head and entrails attached. The idea is that the woodcock is a clean bird and all the entrails can be eaten once cooked (except the gizzard). The tradition in leaving the head on is the delicacy of the brain. Furthermore, the bird can be trussed by piercing the beak through the thighs of the bird, leaving the legs closer to the body and therefore more moist.

Alas, after all my hard work prepping the traditional roast I chickened out… Sadly, Tuesday evening did not seem the right time for a bit of entrails and brain smeared on toast. Therefore I chopped the head off and cleaned out the cavity. Sorry…

However the rest of the cooking was traditional I promise and as usual a good amount of seasoning is essential. Next up use a good chunk of butter in a frying pan and let it heat up. Fry the bird in the butter for a minute on each side and place in an oven for ten minutes at 180oC. Whilst the bird is in the oven keep the heat on the frying pan and add two chunky fresh slices of bread to the mix. Fry only on the one side and once the woodcock is cooked cut it in half down the spine and place it on the uncooked sides to rest for a further ten minutes. The juice from the bird seeps down into the uncooked side adding some beautiful flavour.

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