Partridges stuffed with oats, orange and Juniper
It’s really impressive how the oats take on the flavour of the aroma of the partridge to make a delicious and original dish.
200g porridge oats
100g prunes, finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Freshly squeezed juice of 2 oranges Finely grated zest of 1 orange
1 tbsp juniper berries
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper 4 oven-ready partridges
4 pancetta rashers 8 figs, cut in half lengthways
2 long cinnamon sticks, split lengthways Fresh rosemary needles, to garnish
1 Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/
Gas 7. Put the oats in a bowl and stir in the prunes, parsley, ground cinnamon, orange juice and zest and a good splash of oil. Crush the juniper berries with a pestle and mortar, then add. Season and mix well.
2 To prepare the partridges, use a knife to cut down either side of a bird’s wishbone and remove it, then check all the cavities have been cleared. Divide the oat mixture among the cavities. Cover the back of each bird with a pancetta rasher and tie in place with string, then truss the legs together. Season.
3 roll any remaining oat mixture into golfball-sized balls to be cooked alongside the partridges.
4 Heat a heavy-based roasting tray over a medium-high heat with a good splash of oil. When hot, add the birds and turn until coloured and the pancetta is crispy. Transfer the tray to the oven and roast for 12 minutes, adding any extra oat balls for the final 6 minutes.
5 Meanwhile, skewer the fig halves with cinnamon stick pieces, like kebabs. Add the figs to the tray and return to the oven for 2-3 minutes until the partridges are medium-rare and the figs are tender. Transfer the birds to a warm plate and set aside to rest for 5 minutes covered with foil.
6 While the birds are resting, return the oat balls and figs to the oven.
7 Serve the partridges straight from the roasting tray, sprinkled with rosemary, with the figs and oat balls.
Extract taken from Tom Kitchin’s Meat & Game by Tom Kitchin (£26, Absolute Press).