Hairy Bikers’ roast partridge recipe

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serves: 4
Skill: medium
Cost: mid
Prep: 30 min
Cooking: 45 min
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  • This Hairy Biker’s roast partridge recipe takes just 30 minutes to prepare. It’s the perfect alternative to turkey, chicken, or pheasant.

    A partridge is much smaller than a turkey or a goose, so it’s ideal for little households, or for families where not everyone eats meat. In fact, you’ll need one per person (which also makes it simple to portion up). It’s succulent and tasty without being too ‘gamey’ and only gets better when you add this traditional, fruity stuffing and salty bacon. This recipe was originally featured on the Hairy Bikers’ BBC2’s Christmas special, The Twelve Days of Christmas, inspired by the carol. They serve it with poached pears and fondant potatoes.

    Ingredients

    • 4 partridges
    • 2tbsp unsalted butter
    • 8 rashers streaky bacon
    • 2 shallots, finely chopped
    • 100g fresh white breadcrumbs
    • 150g good pork sausage meat
    • 75g cooked chestnuts, chopped
    • 4 sage leaves, finely chopped
    • 4 dried apricots, finely chopped
    • Zest of a lemon
    • Salt and black pepper
    • Buttered carrots to serve

    Method

    • First wash and dry the partridges inside and out, set aside.

    • For the festive stuffing: Heat the knob of butter in a frying pan and sweat the shallots until translucent.

    • In a bowl, place the breadcrumbs, sausage meat, chestnuts, sage leaves, apricots and lemon zest. Combine together. Stir in the cooked buttery onions. Add a little seasoning as you wish.

    • Allow the stuffing to cool completely and stuff the partridges with the stuffing.

    • Place the stuffed partridges onto a roasting tin. Smear them all over with butter and cover each bird with a couple of rashers of streaky bacon – we are doing everything we can to keep the birds moist.

    • Roast in a moderate preheated oven at 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4 for 45 mins. Leave to rest for 10 mins before serving.

    • Serve with some buttered carrots on the side.

    Top tips for Hairy Bikers' roast partridge

    Don't be disconcerted when your partridge is pink when you cut into it. It's not like chicken (where pink would be a sign that it was undercooked), and should be served pink and juicy. This recipe works well with poussin (young chicken) if you can't find partridges

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