A simple roasted whole bird, with a light white wine gravy/sauce finished with a touch of cream and seedless grapes.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 13 minutes, in total broken down into 5, 5, 3 minutes, I will explain later
Resting time: 6-8 minutes
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 English partridge, wish bone removed
Salt and freshly milled black pepper
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 glass medium white wine
284mls (half pint) fairly strong chicken stock
1 tsp unsalted butter
6-8 white seedless grapes, sliced in 2
2 tbsp browned flaked almonds
• Pre heat the oven to 220°C gas 7.
• Heat the butter and oil in an oven proof frying or sauté pan.
• Once foaming lightly season the bird all over with a little salt and pepper.
• Place leg side down, brown for a minute or so, and pop into the hot oven.
• Cook for 5 minutes.
• After the 5 minutes stage, remove the bird from the oven, turn onto the other leg, and spoon over the buttery juices and oil, return to the oven.
• Cook for a further 5 minutes.
• After 5 minutes, remove the pan from the oven, place the bird breast side down and return to the oven for 3 minutes. Again spooning over the buttery juices.
• Once cooked remove the pan from the oven, take the partridge out of the pan and place onto a warm plate, and cover with foil.
• Leave to rest in a warm place for 6-8 minutes, covered.
• After 10 minutes, place the bird onto a chopping board, breast side up.
• Run a sharp knife, down through where the leg is attached to the breast, then carefully pull the leg away from the body of the bird. Repeat this for the other leg, keep warm.
• The meat will be rose pink and very juicy
• Next run the knife down the breast bone, as close as possible, and right down to where the wing is attached. Cut through the ball and socket joint, where the wing is attached to the breast of the bird, and carefully pull off the breast meat, repeat on the other side.
• Place onto the legs and keep warm, covered with foil.
• Make the sauce by placing the carcass into a small saucepan, add the vinegar and white wine. Bring to the boil and boil until almost all the wine has evaporated.
• Add the chicken stock and pinch of sugar and bring to the boil.
• Simmer until thick and syrupy, about 5-6 minutes.
• Finally add the butter and mix well, then strain through a fine sieve.
• Place into clean saucepan and add the grapes, almonds and a touch of salt and pepper to taste.
• Place the warm partridge legs on the plate, crossed at the top.
• Place the breasts on top of the legs, and carefully spoon over the hot sauce.
Copyright Phil VickerySeptember 2008