Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Sweet and Sticky Barbecued Partridge

We had a go at barbecuing a pair of partridge over the weekend and they were rather good. The sweet, succulent meat was perfect with the char grilled flavour and it was a very tasty, finger licking-ly good meal - yes I got into a bit of a mess eating it but that's what barbecue food is for - right?

Partridge are the perfect choice for the barbecue. They are much smaller than chicken, so one per person is a perfect portion size, the meat is not as strong a flavour as quail - more a cross between chicken and quail, they don't need to be cooked too long or they become tough and they hold their heat well - so your not eating a cold meal by accident!

In Britain we have two types of partridge there is the grey, which is our native species and the red-legged - I don't know where they came from, I suspect it was introduced as a game bird, anyway they taste damn good and are larger than the grey - it was red-legged that we cooked this time.

Before barbecuing I made up a rich, hedgerow themed glaze (it seemed appropriate as we often see partridge running around the country lanes) The glaze acted as a marinade and also a baste to brush on whilst cooking.

Recipe - Enough for 2

2 partridge
2 tablespoons bramble jelly - warmed
1 teaspoon dried wild thyme
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 allspice berries
Pinch salt and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
couple of bay leaves

Optional fresh rosemary sprigs for cooking

First off you need to spatchcock your partridge which basically means you cut out the back bone. Place the bird breast side down and, using a pair of kitchen scissor, cut along either side of the central back bone. It's fairly easy on partridge because the bones are quite small. Open the partridge out, turn the bird over and then place pressure on the breast bone to help flatten out a little more. Place the birds in a large bowl in the fridge whilst you make up the marinade.

For the glaze/marinade. Lightly crush the herbs and spices, add the warm bramble jelly  and then pour on the olive oil. Stir to combine and then brush over the whole of the partridge. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours - overnight would be great.

When your ready to cook, remove the birds from the fridge about 20 minutes before cooking, get the barbecue going and when the coals are a white heat, place the rosemary sprigs on the grill and pop the partridge on top - breast side up to start with.

They wont take long - approx 10-15 minutes either side. We kept rotating and basting.

If you want to cook them indoors - oven would be 180 C/ Gas 4 for 15 minutes, or you could pop them under a hot grill to cook through.

Once cooked envelope in foil to keep hot and allow the meat to relax before serving.

We serve ours with a green salad and some skinny parsnip fries.......

Have a great Wednesday
Love Lizx

 Barbecued Partridge