Lean gamy partridge tastes especially good served with an autumn-fruit preserve. Try serving with a peppery salad such as red mustard and red chard leaves.
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4 oven-ready partridges, about 350 g (12 oz) each
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and black pepper
A pinch of ground mace
300 ml (10 fl oz) chicken stock
100 ml (3½ fl oz) dry white wine
To serve: blackberry or crab apple jelly
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Method Prep:10min › Cook:40min › Ready in:50min
Heat the oven to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7). Rub the partridges with olive oil and season to taste with salt, black pepper and mace.
Put the birds in a roasting tin and cook in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes, basting regularly, until the juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a knife. Transfer the birds to a plate and leave them to rest in a warm place while you make the gravy.
Place the roasting tin over a medium-high heat and pour in the chicken stock and wine. Let the gravy bubble vigorously, scraping any sediment off the bottom of the roasting tin with a wooden spoon, until it is reduced to 4-6 tablespoons.
Spoon a little of the hot gravy onto each serving plate, lay a partridge on top and accompany it with some blackberry or crab apple jelly.