Partridge

Partridge, a small game bird found in many countries, is much prized for its succulent flesh. There are two main types, both edible: the grey or common partridge and the red-legged partridge. The latter is larger than the former but its flesh is considered to be less delicate.

In Britain, partridges are in season from 1st September to 1st February.

Partridge, in common with all game, is hung for varying periods epending on the age of the bird, weather conditions, etc.) before it is plucked and cooked. Most shops selling game will clean and pluck the bird before selling it – and in addition will usually truss and lard a partridge which is going to be roasted.

Young partridges are considered to have particularly delicate flesh and are usually roasted, while older ones are most often used in casseroles or stews. One bird will feed one person.

Roast young partridges in an oven preheated to hot 425 °F (Gas Mark 7, 220°C) for 20 to 25 minutes or until the flesh is tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife, and the juices that run out are only faintly rosy.

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