This roasted partridge recipe brings out all the best flavour in this small, but tasty bird. This is a good recipe for a weeknight dinner that requires very little preparation.
I only recently discovered partridge; I’ve had a lot of small birds in the past, but this particular type of bird was new to me. It isn’t something I often see at regular stores that stock all the conventional meats. However, this time I found some of these cute little birds at my local Asian supermarket and I had to pick one up to try.
I confess at first I was afraid I’d ruin it. The glorious Internet contains a lot of information about cooking various meats but I discovered I should take some of it with a grain of salt. For example, there are a whole lot of people who make it seem like a catastrophe if you cook something more than medium rare. I personally believe the hype is a bit overdone; while I do like my steak medium rare, I like to cook my birds thoroughly, thank you very much!
Well, now that I got that off my chest it’s now time to get down to business. I had a small bird and while I wanted to cook it through I didn’t want it to dry out so I had to figure out a way to do that. So, I decided to marinate it ahead of time for about 6 hours to allow the partridge to absorb all the flavours. I definitely recommend marinating birds to bring out the best in them and prevent the meat from drying out.
Then I cooked the bird covered for about 30 minutes in the oven, and in the last 10 minutes put it under the broil to get it nice and brown. This method ensured that the meat was cooked through, the bird didn’t dry out, and the skin was nice, brown and crispy. All in all, I’m very pleased with the results.
If you’ve never tried partridge before, I definitely recommend it. It’s a very tasty little bird, the flavour is a tiny bit gamey, the flesh is light-coloured but not entirely white. The texture is great, it doesn’t get dry like chicken or turkey breast and stays nice and juicy. Anyway, try it for yourself and let me know how you made it!
- One medium sized partridge
- One tablespoon fish sauce
- Two tablespoons soy sauce
- Juice of one lime
- Four cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- One cup finely chopped fresh coriander
- Three tablespoons olive oil + 2 more for the vegetables
- One medium sweet potato, 10 fresh cremini mushrooms, four small potatoes, two large carrots for roasting in a separate pan/baking sheet.
- A 1/4 teaspoon each of smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt to taste.
- In a large bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients, place the partridge in them and marinate it for at least 5 hours or overnight. Turn it regularly so that it absorbs the marinade on all sides.
- Preheat the oven to 380 degrees Fahrenheit, place the partridge in a glass or otherwise heavy, ovenproof pan. Pour the marinade on top, and add another half cup of water to the bottom of the pan.
- Chop the vegetables except the mushrooms, sprinkle salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and olive oil on top. Spread them thinly on another pan or baking sheet.
- Cover the bird with foil and roast covered for 30 minutes. Roast the vegetables uncovered.
- After 30 minutes, remove the foil and place the bird under the broil until it becomes crisp and brown on top, about 10 minutes. Monitor the partridge closely to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Rest the partridge for 10 minutes while the vegetables continue roasting until crisp, possibly another 5-10 minutes (monitor them closely to avoid burning). Enjoy! This serves two adults.
Have you ever tried cooking or eating partridge? How do you like to make it? Let me know in the comments!
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