Roasted Woodcocks with Sage Recipe


Indulge in the Flavors of the Italian Countryside: Roasted Game with Sage

Are you a fan of authentic flavors and recipes that tell a story? Then buckle up for a culinary journey through the scents of the Italian countryside with a dish that is pure poetry for the palate: the pungent aroma of sage melds with game meat in a dance of ancient flavors.

Picture yourself sitting at the table, surrounded by nature, getting ready to savor these perfectly roasted delicacies. My fondest memory of this dish lies in the Sunday family lunches, where laughter mixed with the crackling of the fire and the intense scent of aromatic herbs. The preparation requires patience and care, but the result is a triumph of flavors that evokes forgotten traditions.

Every bite is a discovery: the crispy exterior gives way to the tenderness of the meat inside, flavored by the perfect mix of spices and herbs. With just 400 calories per serving, this dish not only delights the senses but also fits into a mindful eating style. Get ready to savor the authenticity of true flavors with this timeless gastronomic experience.

Recipe Notes

  • EASE: requires time and attention
  • PROS: intense and authentic flavor
  • CONS: long preparation time
  • PREPARATION: slow cooking and marinating
  • NUTRITIONAL NOTES: approximately 400 calories per serving

Ingredients Notes for the Recipe

  • Woodcocks: high-quality wild meat, rich in flavor
  • Bacon: adds flavor and juiciness to the meat
  • Butter: gives creaminess and richness to the dish
  • Sage: pungent aroma that pairs perfectly with wild meat
  • Dry White Wine: adds complexity and depth to the flavor

Nutritional Aspects

Let’s explore the nutritional benefits of this traditional recipe for game lovers.

  • Rich in high-quality proteins from woodcock meat.
  • Contains heart-healthy unsaturated fats from olive oil.
  • Moderate calorie intake, approximately 400 Kcal per serving.
  • Sage adds natural antioxidants and aids digestion.
  • Low in carbohydrates, ideal for those following a low-carb diet.
  • The bacon provides a touch of flavor and some saturated fats, to be enjoyed in moderation.

Roasted Woodcocks with Sage Recipe

A traditional Italian dish perfect for game meat lovers: Roast woodcocks with sage. The combination of the intense flavor of wild meat with the pungent aroma of sage creates an unforgettable dish that will transport you straight to the Italian countryside.
Servings 4
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours



  • Start by aging the woodcocks: let them rest for 8 to 10 days, gut them and hang them by the neck in a dark and cool place, or if you prefer, wrap them in the lower part of the refrigerator. Don't forget to put the guts in the freezer.
  • Once the necessary time has passed, clean the woodcocks thoroughly and dry them well.
  • Season the woodcocks with salt and pepper to taste.
  • In a large casserole, heat the butter with a drizzle of olive oil. When the butter is melted and starts to sizzle, place the woodcocks in it and brown them over high heat until they are well browned on all sides.
  • Add the pancetta cut into large dice and the sage leaves to the sauté to further flavor the meat.
  • Deglaze with half a glass of dry white wine, let it evaporate partially before lowering the flame.
  • Continue cooking over low heat until the flavors are completely absorbed and the woodcocks are cooked to your liking.
  • Serve hot, accompanied, if desired, with slices of toasted polenta.


For a rustic and aromatic touch, add a bundle of mixed aromatic herbs (thyme, rosemary) during the browning of the woodcocks.
Author: Tips4Food
Calories: 400kcal
Course: Traditional Italian Recipe
Keyword: dry white wine, game meat, game recipe, intense flavor, meat hanging, Pancetta, roast woodcocks with sage, toasted polenta, traditional Italian recipe, woodcock hanging

Variations of Roasted Woodcock with Sage Recipe

A rustic and aromatic touch to enhance the flavor of woodcock.

  • Swap the white wine for red wine for a bolder flavor.
  • Serve the woodcock with a truffle sauce for a touch of luxury.
  • Try it with smoked bacon for a more intense aroma.
  • Replace the sage with thyme and rosemary for a different mix of aromatic herbs.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Recipe

If you have any questions about preparing Roasted Woodcocks with Sage, you’ll find the answers here!

What can I use as a substitute for woodcocks if I can’t find them?

You can substitute woodcocks with other game meats like quail or pheasant for an equally delicious result.

What can I use instead of pancetta?

You can replace pancetta with guanciale or prosciutto for a similar flavor and a touch of saltiness to the dish.

How do I know if the woodcocks are cooked perfectly?

You can check the doneness of the woodcocks by inserting a kitchen thermometer into the thickest part of the meat; when it reaches 70°C, they’re ready.

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