The festive season may be over but one of game birds from the ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ carol is at its best right now. Retire the turkey and start climbing those pear trees! Partridge is a tasty native bird which bridges the gap between the pheasant and the quail. A partridge will feed one handsomely though if you’re a little eater like me, one can do for two meals. Game is growing in popularity so much so that the supermarkets have started to sell various unusual meats. They have the benefit of being local, free-range and very lean. You can find partridges in Sainsbury’s for £3 each though they’re the kind of thing that can be picked up cheap from the bargain bin at closing time. A good butcher should be able to source and prepare a partridge for you.
Now that you’ve got your bird, what do you do with it? It may look like a chicken but don’t treat it like one – they’re small and delicate so they’re easy to overcook. If you’re curious about how to cook partridge to perfection, try this simple and tasty recipe which pairs it with creamy butter beans, spicy chorizo and delicious kale which is also bang in season.
Roasted Partridge with chorizo, butter beans and kale
Serves 2, generously
2 whole partridges
½ onion, sliced
100g chorizo, roughly cut into chunks
1 can of butter beans, drained
2 large handfuls of sliced kale
1 clove of garlic, sliced
- Preheat the oven to 230C.
- Add a drizzle of oil to a roasting tin, large enough to take both birds, and place it directly on a medium heat. Add the chorizo and fry until golden. They’ll release lots of delicious flavoured oil to the pan as they cook. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the partridges to the tin and brown all over for a few minutes in the pan. Scatter the pan with the sliced onion and loosely cover the birds with the foil from a pat of butter (or a piece of foil).
- Place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Baste the birds well with any juices in the pan. Recover with foil, lower the temperature to 180C and roast for a further 15 minutes. Check that the juices run clear and that the meat is piping hot all the way through.
- Remove the birds from the pan and set aside to rest. Put the pan on a low heat and add the chorizo, butter beans, kale and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes or until the beans are warmed through and the kale has wilted. Keep stirring to ensure that the beans don’t stick and add a little water if it becomes too dry.