British Five Bird Roast and Gravy

Cook a five bird roast recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 110 mins
Total: 115 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
91 Calories
2g Fat
8g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 91
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 5mg 2%
Sodium 632mg 27%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 10mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 207mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A wonderful centerpiece to any Christmas table has to be the five bird roast. This historical method of stuffing one boneless bird with another, with another, and so on, to create a wonderful roast is perfect for holiday celebrations.

Unless you are a master butcher or very adept with birds, buy your roast ready assembled for cooking at home. The hand-prepared five bird roast in this recipe was made to order from James Alexander Foods with local, free-range turkey, pheasant, chicken, mallard duck, and wild wood pigeon, combined so that each bird cooks the next one inside and the juices combine exquisitely.

The birds in this recipe make for a strong flavor, so serve with a simple gravy and roasted root vegetables of your choice. 


For the Five Bird Roast:

  • 15 ounces five bird roast, prepared but uncooked

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Gravy:

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup (177 milliliters) white wine

  • 4 cups plus 2 ounces (1 liter) chicken stock

  • 2 teaspoons red currant jelly, optional

Steps to Make It

Make the Roast

  1. Gather the ingredients and preheat the oven to 375 F/190 C, or 180 C/Gas 5 for fan-assisted ovens. Calculate the cooking time at 50 minutes per kilogram of roast (or a little less than 2 1/4 pounds).

    Ingredients for roast
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Allow the roast to come to room temperature for at least an hour—never cook directly from the fridge.

    Allow roast to cook
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Pat the roast dry with kitchen paper and season well with salt and pepper.

    Let roast dry
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Transfer to a large roasting tray. Cover the tray with a loose tent of foil and place in the middle of the preheated oven. Roast for the calculated time, basting with the juices every 30 to 40 minutes.

    Place in tray
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Remove the foil tent 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time to brown and crisp the skin.

    Remove tent
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. Check that the roast is cooked by inserting a skewer into the center—the juices should run clear. If they are a little pink, give it 15 minutes more and check again.

    Check roast
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  7. Transfer to a serving platter and tightly cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 to 30 minutes before carving.

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  8. Serve and enjoy.

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Make the Gravy

  1. Pour all the juices from the roasting tin into a bowl or jug. Spoon off all the fat, which will float to the surface and discard.

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. Place the roasting tin in which you cooked the bird on a high heat on the stove top, add the flour and stir to scrape up all the sediment from the tin. Cook for 1 minute.

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Pour in the wine and stir well, then add the chicken stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

    Pour in wine
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Add the meat juices, minus the fat, bring back to the boil and cook for a further 3 minutes. Salt to taste. Strain and serve. 

    Add meat juice
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. For a richer gravy, add 2 teaspoon red currant jelly, stir until dissolved. Strain through a fine sieve into a gravy boat or serving jug.

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack