serves 4-6

4 (6 if small) red­leg par­tridges sep­a­rated into breasts and legs Black pep­per­mill, sea salt

6 sprigs thyme, 3 bay leaves

1-2 tins of goose fat, melted

2 – 3 lge beet­root, 1 medium squash 500ml chicken or game stock Soft­ened un­salted but­ter

8 – 12 cooked chest­nuts, halved Suf­folk rape­seed oil

3 lge hand­fuls cav­alo nero or kale 4tbsp very re­duced chicken or game stock

As­pall ap­ple bal­samic vine­gar

1 tbsp fresh tar­ragon leaves


Day be­fore – pre-heat oven to 150°C. Layer par­tridge legs with pep­per, thyme, bay leaves and two ta­ble­spoons of sea salt in a small, deep oven­proof dish. Pour over goose fat and cover tightly with foil. Cook for 1½ hours un­til ten­der. Cool, re­frig­er­ate overnight. Raise the oven to 180°C. Wrap the beet­root in foil and bake un­til soft, about 1 hour. Cool and re­frig­er­ate.

Next day – pre-heat oven to 200°C. De-seed and quar­ter squash, cut into 3cm cylin­ders. Sim­mer 500ml of chicken stock in a large saucepan. Place squash in a roast­ing tray, brush with melted but­ter, sea­son. Pour hot stock half­way up the side of the squash. Bake for 15-20 mins, re­move from stock and keep warm. Peel and cut beet­root into 3cm cubes. Add, with the chest­nuts, to hot stock. Re­move con­fit legs from the set fat and crisp up in a hot pan in the oven. Sea­son par­tridge breasts, pan-fry quickly in hot oil for 4-8 min­utes, baste, adding a knob of but­ter half­way through. Tear greens to size. Place in a very hot, lid­ded pan with a knob of but­ter, splash of oil, sea­son­ing and glug of boil­ing wa­ter. Toss quickly, cover, cook for a few min­utes un­til wilted. Re­move breasts from fry­ing pan and leave to rest. Add the re­duced stock to the hot pan, bring to the boil, add two ta­ble­spoons each of oil and vine­gar. Sim­mer quickly, whisk in a knob of but­ter and chopped tar­ragon. Taste, ad­just sea­son­ing. As­sem­ble the dish, dot­ting veg­eta­bles and chest­nuts around hot plates, add the legs and carved breasts, driz­zle with the vinai­grette.

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