Roasted Partridge with walnut mashed potatoes, chicory, candied onions and its own juices

Roasted Partridge with walnut mashed potatoes, chicory, candied onions and its own juices

This is a recipe from my first books, Rhubarb and Black Pudding. It is from the Autumn section of the book, as game comes into season and birds such as Partridge can be sourced.

What you need

  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 2 braces of partridge with wings trimmed and wishbone removed, trussed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 150ml of port
  • 8 chopped shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 10 walnuts
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • 150ml veal glaze (optional)

For the walnut mashed potatoes

  • 450g baking potatoes in their skins
  • 200ml whipping cream
  • 125g butter
  • 3 tablespoons walnut oil

For the peeled walnuts

  • 20 walnut halves
  • Milk to cover
  • Pinch of salt

For the chicory

  • 4 heads of chicory
  • 1 lemon
  • A little oil
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • Knob of butter

For the candied onion:

  • A little oil
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 20 peeled button onions

What it looks like

partridge recipe


Paul Heathcote, Rhubarb & Black Pudding 

What you do:

Preheat the oven to 230 degrees celsius. Heat an ovenproof frying pan or casserole dish, add the oil and, when that is hot, seal each of the birds on both breasts. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, turning the birds over half-way through. Make sure the entire leg is flat on the bottom of the pan so that they cook more quickly and the breasts more slowly.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 5 minutes, remove the leg ends and trim the drumsticks for presentation, scraping away fat and sinew about 1cm inch back from the top of the leg to make a nice clean bone. Remove the breasts from the bone, cover them with butter paper or foil and set aside in a warm place.

Make the sauce: chop up the bones as small as possible and place the, including the wing tips and wishbones removed earlier, in a hot pan with a little walnut oil and cook until golden brown.

While the bones are browning, blanch the walnuts for about 30 seconds in boiling milk and then, when they are cool enough to handle, peel them.

Add the port to the pan of bones and reduce by half. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme and walnuts. Cover with chicken stock and bring to the boil and simmer, skimming off all of the fat and scum that come to the surface, for about 1.5 hours. Add the veal glaze and reduce to a pouring sauce consistency, then pass through a fine sieve.

At the same time, make the walnut mashed potatoes: simmer the potatoes in salted water until cooked. Drain and, when coll enough to handle, peel them.

In a pan, bring the cream and butter to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until thickened (about 2 minutes). Add to the potatoes and pass through a coarse sieve. Add the walnut oil and season to taste.

Prepare the peeled walnuts: place all ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove the milk with a slotted spoon. When cool, use a small knife to remove the bitter skin. Place the walnuts back into the milk to keep them white.

Prepare the chicory: cut them in half lengthwise and remove most of the core. Blanch in a pan of boiling water with the juice of half of the lemon to stop the chicory from discolouring, then refresh in iced water. Put a small amount of oil in a hot frying pan, add the chicory and fry until golden. Add the sugar and caramelise. Add the butter, season with salt and pepper and finish with a little lemon juice.

Make the candied onions: heat a heavy-based pan, add a little oil, followed by the sugar and heat until a caramel is formed. Add the onions, cover with water and boil to drive off all the water, leaving a syrup in the bottom of the pan. Season the onions and remove them from the pan.

To serve, place a quenelle or heaped spoonful of the potato in the middle of each plate. Push a partridge breast in on either side of the potato. Lean the legs against the breasts, almost as if reconstructing the shape of the bird. Place some chicory at the top of each plate, arrange the onions and walnuts around and spoon some sauce over the bird.

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