Recipes

Braised Partridge on a Bed of Lentils

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Yields 4 servings

Ingredients

4 partridges or 4 chicken breasts
4oz brown lentils
2oz unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely diced
2oz streaky bacon, diced
½ pt chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1 bay leaf
2 tsp oil
4oz mirepoix (celery, onion, carrot)
3 fl oz red wine
½ pt brown chicken stock
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped

Directions

Truss the partridges. Carefully pick through the lentils, removing any stones or seeds, then soak them in cold water for 1 hour. Drain the water then rinse the lentils well. Melt 1/2oz of the butter in a pan, add the shallots and the diced bacon and fry for 1 minute. Add the lentils, then pour in the chicken stock, season with a few turns of pepper and add the bay leaf. Bring to the boil, cover the pan and cook in an oven heated to 425°F for 45 minutes.

Heat the oil with ½ oz of the butter in an ovenproof pan large enough to take all of the partridges. Season the partridge well, then sear the birds over high heat on all sides, browning them well. Remove from the pan, add the mirepoix and brown lightly. Pour in the red wine and brown chicken stock. Add the thyme and garlic and bring it to the boil. Stand the partridges in the pan, cover and cook in an oven heated to 425°F for 25 minutes. Once cooked, remove the birds and allow to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. Pour the stock through a fine strainer and reduce over high heat until only about 7 fl oz remains.

To Serve

Remove the legs and breasts from the partridges and return to the oven for about 2 minutes to reheat. Return the sauce to the boil then remove it from the heat. Gradually add the remaining butter, piece by piece, until it has melted. Divide the lentils evenly between the plates. Place 2 legs and 2 breasts on top of the lentils and pour the sauce around. Heat the oil with ½ oz of the butter in an ovenproof pan large enough to take all of the partridges. Season the partridge well, then sear the birds over high heat on all sides, browning them well. Remove from the pan, add the mirepoix and brown lightly. Pour in the red wine and brown chicken stock. Add the thyme and garlic and bring it to the boil. Stand the partridges in the pan, cover and cook in an oven heated to 425°F for 25 minutes. Once cooked, remove the birds and allow to rest in a warm place for 10 minutes. Pour the stock through a fine strainer and reduce over high heat until only about 7 fl oz remains.

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