Tired of turkey? Go for partridge this Christmas, served with fondant potatoes and pickled pears from the boys’ new BBC2 Christmas special, The Twelve Days of Christmas
- 4 partridges
- 2tbsp unsalted butter
- 8 rashers streaky bacon
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 100g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 150g good pork sausage meat
- 75g cooked chestnuts, chopped
- 4 sage leaves, finely chopped
- 4 dried apricots, finely chopped
- Zest of a lemon
- Salt and black pepper
- Buttered carrots to serve
First wash and dry the partridges inside and out, set aside.
For the festive stuffing: Heat the knob of butter in a frying pan and sweat the shallots until translucent.
In a bowl place the breadcrumbs, sausage meat, chestnuts, sage leaves, apricots and lemon zest. Combine together. Stir in the cooked buttery onions. Add a little seasoning as you wish.
Allow the stuffing to cool completely and stuff the partridges with the stuffing.
Place the stuffed partridges onto a roasting tin. Smear them all over with butter and cover each bird with a couple of rashers of streaky bacon – we are doing everything we can to keep the birds moist.
Roast in a moderate preheated oven at 180ºC for 45 mins. Leave to rest for 10 mins before serving.
Serve with some buttered carrots on the side.
This recipe works well with Poussin (young chicken) if you can't find partridges