When it comes to cooking a delicious partridge, keep it simple. Two of the best ingredients to combine with the delicate and tender flesh of the wild bird healthy recipes are soft and subtly sweet cabbages and notoriously pungent juniper berries. Serve this dish as an alluring alternative to roasted chicken at your next dinner party. The native grey varieties are small birds that can be served whole, one for each person. Full of robust flavor and fantastic aroma, they are ridiculously affordable easy healthy recipes too.
If you want a milder tasting partridge, choose the red-legged variety, which is a larger bird and can feed two. Partridge require less cooking time than chicken so it’s quite easy to prepare. You can serve partridge on or off the bone, and use the bones for making stock to cook the cabbage. The wild bird could use the extra fat to help retain and add moisture to its meat, which is leaner than chicken, thus this recipe calls for a generous amount of butter. Cream is also added near the end of the recipe to counterbalance the gamey taste and make the dish taste absolutely ambrosial.
Ingredients: 1 medium head cabbage (shredded), 4 tablespoons butter, 2 partridges, Sea salt, Pepper (freshly ground), ¼ teaspoon paprika, Juniper berries, 1 ¼ cup whipping cream
Fill a large pot with water and add a little salt. Bring to a boil. Toss the cabbage in the water and cook for 10 minutes. Drain. In a large, heavy skillet, melt the butter. Add the partridges and brown them on every side. Add the cabbage to the skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Add the paprika and half a handful of juniper berries. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Stir in the cream. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Serve warm.
You will know when the partridge is cooked by piercing it with a fork; if the fork slides down the flesh all the way to the bone (or all the way through, if it is deboned) with ease, it’s done properly. Take care not to overcook the partridge as it dries out quickly. Before cooking, wash the partridge thoroughly with cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel. Used primarily to flavor wild game, juniper berries have a tart flavor that cuts down on some of the gaminess of wild birds, boar, buffalo, and venison. The main ingredient in making gin, juniper berries add a piney flavor and pungent aroma to this exotic dish.