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Young partridges are considered to have particularly delicate flesh and are usually roasted, while older ones are most often used in casseroles or stews. Count on one bird per person. There are two main types, both edible: the grey or common partridge and the red-legged partridge. The latter is larger but its flesh is considered to be less delicate. If you do not hunt for these wild birds, they are readily available in speciality shops with a gourmet butcher, or most larger super-markets will have partridges packaged in two's, and frozen. These seem to be more readily available during the Christmas season. I acquired an excellent cookbook, while on a trip to England many years ago, entitled "Supercook's Poultry and Game Cookbook". The investment in this book has returned extraordinary dividends. Over time, I have used most of the recipes in this book, at least once. An absolutely delicious dinner, this recipe may be served with mashed potatoes, and buttered baby carrots; but make your own choices, you won't be sorry.
- 2 young partridges, trussed,larded and livers reserved
- 3⁄8 cup butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped cooked ham
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1⁄4 cups dry white wine
- 4 sprigs parsley
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 bay leaf, tied together in a cheescloth bag
- 1⁄2 small orange, rind of, pared
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree (tomato sauce or paste)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 6 cloves garlic, boiled in salted water for 10 minutes and drained
- 1⁄4 cup fresh breadcrumb
- 2 tablespoons cooked ham, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 small egg, lightly beaten
- First make the stuffing: Using a sharp knife, finely chop the reserved partridge livers and place them in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Add the remaining stuffing ingredients and mix well to blend.
- Place the partridges on a flat surface and with a teaspoon, gently and carefully spoon the stuffing mixture into the cavities.
- Close the cavities with a skewer or a trussing needle and thread.
- In a large deep frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat.
- When the foam sibsides, add the partridges to the pan and cook, carefully turning occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, or until they are lightly and evenly browned.
- Using tongs, or two large spoons, remove the partridges from the pan and set aside.
- Add the chopped ham to the pan and cook, stirring frequently for 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle over the flour and cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Stir in the wine, then add the bouquet garni, orange rind, tomato puree, salt and pepper.
- Stir well to blend.
- Bring the liquid to the boil over high heat.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 8 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and strain the liquid into a large flameproof casserole.
- Discard the contents of the strainer.
- Add the partridges to the casserole and place it over low heat.
- Simmer the partridges, for 10 minutes, basting occasionally.
- Stir in the garlic.
- Cover the caserole and cook for a further 20- 25 minutes or until the partridges are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.
- Remove the pan from the heat and discard the garlic cloves.
- Serve at once.
Wonderful flavor! If I had been able to find partridges this would be a 5. Had to use game hens, instead. The stuffing if savory and moist, the sauce just knocked our socks off, rih and just delicious. Recommended for anyone! Yum!