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Partridge - Roast with Calvados Recipe

A delicious way of cooking partridge, allow 1 grey partridge each, the slightly larger red variety can be stretched to 2 modest helpings.
Removing the legs and breasts before serving, makes for easier eating.

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For 4 helpings:

4 partridges (see above about red partridge)
Salt and freshly-ground Black Peppercorns
4 slices of Streaky Bacon
4 teaspoons (20ml)Vegetable Oil
90gr/3 oz Butter
4 Dessert Apples – such as Cox's
4 teaspoons (20ml) Caster Sugar
150ml/¼ pint Calvados
300ml/½ pint Chicken or Mild Game Stock


Remove the wish bones from the birds, and lightly-season them with salt and pepper, inside and out.
Cut each slice of bacon into two, and tie two halves around each breast to help keep it moist.
Heat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas 8. Add the oil and half the butter.
Put the birds balanced on one of their legs and roast for 4 minutes, repeat this with the other leg for a further 4 minutes, then turn them onto their backs and roast for a further 4 minutes before removing them from the oven.
Transfer the birds to a plate to rest.
Peel the apples, cut them into quarters, then remove the cores; cut each quarter into three.
Melt the remaining butter in the roasting pan, add the apple slices and sprinkle them with the sugar and fry until golden - turning them as necessary. Remove them from the pan, and set them aside.
Remove the bacon from the partridges (this can be used as decoration) then the legs and breasts from the birds - which should now be cool enough to handle.
Roughly chop the carcasses and lightly brown them in the roasting pan on top of the cooker.
Pour in the Calvados, being careful it doesn't flare up in your face. Deglaze any caramelised pieces from the bottom of the pan, by scraping with a heavy spoon. Add the stock, then reduce it until it starts to thicken a little.
Return the partridge pies and the apple segments the oven for a minute, or so, to reheat.
Divide the apple slices in a neat pile on each plate, then criss-cross the legs over them. Arrange the breasts on top of the legs.
Pour the sauce over and around the partridge.

Serve, perhaps with a little mashed potato, to mop up the juices.

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