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POULTRY AND GAME – General preparation and cooking times

  See below for  buffalo and Alligator (crocodile) preparation and timing




Always rinse raw poultry and game under cold running water, washing out the cavity of whole birds well, then dry well on kitchen paper.


As with most other foods, whilst the old saying about “one always being able to add salt but not being able to take it out”  is true,  the taste of  Poultry and Game is greatly enhanced by seasoning before and during cooking.  Adding salt afterwards just doesn’t produce the same taste.


Basting during cooking is always advantageous. Always thoroughly cook chicken and turkey.



Chicken Stock    HT    CD   200mins



Suitable cuts:          

                        Whole Birds


                        Best End of Neck of Venison

                        Haunch of Venison



                        Chicken Whole                   325g/12oz Per person (with bone)

                        Chicken Quarters               1 per person

                        Chicken Breasts                  1 per person

                        Duck Whole large              4 people

                        Duckling  Whole                2 people

                        Duck portions                     1 per person

                        Duck Breast                         1 per person

                        Goose                                   450g/1lb per person with bones

                        Grouse Med. Whole           2 people

                        Guinea Fowl                        325g/12oz per person (with bone)

                        Pheasant Whole large        4 people

                        Pigeon  medium                 1 per person

                        Quail                                     1-2 per person

                        Rabbit whole                       4 people

                        Rabbit portions                   2-3 per person

                        Venison                                175-250g/ 6-9oz per person (without   bone)

Turkey                                  350g/12oz per person (with bone)

                        Escalopes                             1 per person

                        Mince                                    100-150g/4-5oz per person


Cooking time at 180C, 350F, Gas mark 4        

                        Chicken Whole                   25 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 20 minutes

                        Chicken Quarters               35 minutes

                        Chicken Breasts                  25-30 minutes

                        Duck Whole large              25 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 25 minutes

                        Duckling  Whole                20 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 20 minutes

                        Duck portions                     35 minutes

                        Duck Breast                         20-30 minutes

                        Goose                                   25 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 25 minutes

                        Grouse Med. Whole          40 minutes

                        Guinea Fowl                       20 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 20 minutes

                        Pheasant                              20-25 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 20 minutes

                        Pigeon - small                     35 minutes

                        Quail                                    35-40 minutes

                        Rabbit whole                      1 ˝ hours covered with foil

                        Venison                               20 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 20 minutes

Turkey                                 20-25 minutes per 450g/1lb plus 20 minutes extra

                                              weight  of stuffing included.

Escalopes                            20-30 minutes

                        Mince                                   30 minutes – 2 hours depending  on recipe


Grilling and Frying

Always preheat the grill before cooking commences. When frying, coat with seasoned flour, egg and crumb or batter.


Suitable cuts:          

                        Chicken portions and breast

                        Duck portions and breast

                        Pheasant Breast  

                        Venison Steaks



Allowances: 1 per person           


Cooking times:   

Chicken, Duck and Pheasant         

20-30 minutes turning once or twice during cooking.


Venison Steaks

10-15  minutes turning once or twice during cooking.  


To Casserole or braise


Suitable cuts:           

                        Chicken portions               

                        Duck  portions

                        Grouse portions                 



                        Rabbit portions




                        Chicken portions        1 per person           

                        Duck  portions            1 per person           

                        Grouse portions          1 –2  per person                

                        Pigeons                         1 bird per person

                        Quail                             1-2  per person

                        Rabbit portions            2-3 per person

                        Venison                         150-225g/5-8oz per person (without  bone)



Cooking time:          

2 -3 hours depending on the dish.            


BUFFALO - general cooking and preparation

Buffalo meat is best cooked rare to medium - never overcook. When substituting beef with buffalo, set your oven to 30C, 50F,  2 Gas marks lower.  NEVER use a fork to turn buffalo meat. If the meat is punctured it will dry out.


The same as beef - see Beef and Veal General Preparation


Frying and Grilling

For small 2.5cm/1inch thick steaks and medallions

Rare meat=  3-4 minutes each side

Medium = 5-6 minutes each side


For medium size 3.5cm/1 1/2inch thick steaks

Rare= 5-6  minutes each side

Medium= 7-8 minutes each side


For very large 5cm/2inch thick steaks:

Rare=  7-10 minutes each side

Medium= 10-12 minutes each side



15-20 minutes per 450g/1lb  


Casseroling or Stewing

1 ˝ -3 hours depending on the dish for Stewing Cuts

30 minutes to 2 hours depending on the dish for Mince





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Key techniques

Chop to – To cut into pieces of approximately the same size.
Brown  to  -  To fry in very shallow  fat  over a high heat in order to colour the food and seal in the juices.

Sauté  - The cooking of food in a small amount of fat, preferably in a single layer, until it browns and softens. It is important not to overfill the pan.


Tips, Options and Substitutions


Main equipment

Chopping Knife

Chopping Board


Wooden or Plastic Spoon


Freezing/Make ahead

Related Recipes and Information

More Poultry & Game Recipes 

General Poultry & Game Prep & Cooking Times  

Game Seasons UK

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