With its lean meat and delicate taste – not too strong or gamey – the partridge lends a welcome versatility. This mouth-watering recipe, accompanied with warming seasonal vegetables, makes the perfect warming dish for family and friends.
1 tbsp olive oil
100ml chicken stock
4 shallots, peeled and halved
10 juniper berries
2 garlic cloves, crushed
5 sprigs thyme
Lemon juice to taste
For the honey-glazed turnips and carrots:
200g baby carrots
200g baby turnips
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp runny honey
3 sprigs thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 300°C/400°F/Gas 6 and season the birds with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Fry the partridges, turning occasionally, for about 5 minutes – adding the butter towards the end – until browned. Remove the partridges from the frying pan and set aside in a roasting pan.
3. Heat the Cognac in the frying pan and reduce a little; then add the stock and reduce by half. Pour the sauce over the partridges.
4. Sauté the shallots, juniper berries and garlic in the frying pan over a low heat for about 5 minutes until coloured. Add the thyme, then transfer the mixture to the roasting pan and place that in the oven for 10-12 minutes until the meat is medium-rare.
5. Boil the carrots and turnips in a large pan of salted water for 2 minutes until just tender, then drain. Heat the butter in a large frying pan, then sauté the carrots and turnips with the honey and thyme over a medium-high heat until golden.
6. Season, cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are tender. Add 2 tablespoons water, increase the heat to high and cook, gently shaking the pan, until the liquid is reduced to a glaze.
7. Transfer the partridges to a serving dish. Stir the lemon juice into the juices in the roasting pan, season, then spoon over the meat. Serve with the glazed carrots and turnips.
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