Partridges are birds in the pheasant family, Phasianidae. They are a non-migratory Old World group. These are medium-sized birds, in-between the larger pheasants and the smaller quails. Partridges are native to Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
They taste delicious and need very little cooking. This recipe gives the birds a real flavour burst from the stuffing, give it a try, I am sure you will love it.
This will serve six portions.
6 partridges (ask your butcher to keep the livers for the stuffing)
12 thick smoked streaky bacon rashers
Fresh sage leaves, to garnish
2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
For the stuffing;
50g of salted butter
2 large banana shallots, very finely chopped
150g piece of chorizo, very finely chopped
6 partridge livers, chopped (optional)
4 garlic cloves, vey finely chopped
200g of fresh breadcrumbs
12 fresh sage leaves, very finely chopped
Zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
Small bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
For the gravy;
2 tablespoons of plain flour
300ml of good quality red wine (if you’re not prepared to drink it, don’t cook with it!)
600ml of fresh chicken stock, hot (supermarkets sell this in tubs).
1 heaped tablespoon of redcurrant jelly
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
First, make the stuffing. Heat the butter in a large frying pan and cook the shallots for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to soften. Stir in the chorizo and cook slowly until the oils and juices are released. Add the chopped partridge livers, if using, then stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Add the breadcrumbs, chopped sage, lemon zest and juice, and season with a little salt and plenty of ground black pepper. Stir in the chopped parsley.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180C for fan). Spoon the stuffing mixture into the body cavities of the partridges, season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then cover with bacon and dot with sage leaves.
Arrange in a shallow roasting tin and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for about 20 minutes.
Remove the bacon from the birds, leaving the rashers in the tin, and cook the partridges for a further 10 minutes, until golden.
Remove the partridges from the tin, placing the bacon rashers back on top of the birds. Transfer them to a serving dish and cover with foil to keep hot.
Place the roasting tin on the hob over a gentle heat. Add the flour to the pan, mixing it with the cooking juices and oils and any stuffing mixture that has fallen out of the partridges. Pour in the red wine and bubble for a few minutes, then add the stock and redcurrant jelly and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the sauce has thickened slightly.
Season to taste and strain into a serving jug.
Serve with these easy Parsnip Crisps.
Preheat the oven to 100°C (80C for fan).
Peel the parsnips and use a peeler to cut them into long, thin strips.
Place the parsnips on a tray to dry out in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
Preheat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 170°C and then fry until golden brown.