Roasted partridge with black pudding, pressed partridge leg and parsnips

Serves four

  • four partridges
  • one chicken leg
  • duck fat
  • two parsnips
  • rape seed oil
  • butter
  • milk
  • two small or one large black pudding
  • 400g maris piper potatoes
  • A little chicken stock

Take the legs off the partridges and put them in a pan with the chicken leg.  Pour over enough melted duck fat so that the legs are just covered.  Cook on a low heat for two to three hours, until the meat is falling off the bones.  Remove from the duck fat and allow to cool.

Shred the meat from the partridge legs and chicken leg, removing all skins, bone and cartilage. Season with salt and pepper, and add back in 2 tbsp of duck fat.  Press the shredded meat into a plastic container, cover, and put some weights on top to compress the meat.  When it comes to serving, reheat the pressed leg meat in the oven at 180°C for ten minutes.

Put a little oil into an oven-proof frying pan, and brown the breasts on the partridge crowns.  Once they have some colour, put the partridges on their backs and transfer the pan into the oven at 180°C for six minutes.  Once cooked – and they should still be pink in the middle, remove the breasts from the crowns.

Cut one of the parsnips lengthways into quarters, and trim off the woody stalk from the middle.  Roast these four pieces in a little oil and butter in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes, turning them every five minutes so that each side colours.

Halve the second parsnip and grate finely.  Deep fry at 180°C until they are golden brown – this will take less than a minute.

Take the trimmings from the first parsnip, and the other half of the second parsnip, and chop finely.  Put in a pan and just cover with milk.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes, until the parsnip is soft.  Blitz in a food processor, and pass through a fine sieve to give a smooth puree.

Crumble the black puddings and fry gently in rape seed oil.  You are looking to soften the meat, and give it no more than a slight crisp.  Meanwhile, peel and dice the potatoes and boil for 20 minutes.  Drain and add some melted butter and a little heated milk, and then mash.

To serve, put quenelles of mash and black pudding on the plate, lay the partridge breasts over the top.  Cut the pressed leg meat into squares and put one on each plate.  Add a piece of roast parsnip, some -parsnip puree, and a handful of deep-fried parsnip shavings.  Spoon over a few drops of well-recued chicken stock to finish.

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