Recipes

Tandoori partridge

Partridge can often arrive at the table in more traditional guises, so here is something perhaps a little more exciting. It is imperative to remove the skin so the spice marinade can penetrate the meat rather than come away entirely with the skin. The flesh remains tender as protected under the yoghurt jacket.

Tandoori partridge

Tandoori partridge

Recipe by

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • Brace of Partridge, Whole

  • 4 large cloves of garlic, grated

  • 70g piece of ginger, skinned and finely grated

  • half a medium onion, roughly chopped

  • juice of half a large lemon

  • 10 cardamom pods broken and husks discarded

  • 1 heaped tsp ground turmeric

  • ¼ tsp of ground clove

  • 1 tsp of garam masala

  • 1 level tbsp of mild chilli powder

  • 1½ tsp ground coriander

  • ¼ tsp ground mace or nutmeg

  • 5 large tbsp of Greek yoghurt

  • fine sea salt

  • 5 tbsp melted ghee

  • natural red food colouring, optional

Directions

  • Remove the skin entirely from partridge bodies, then halve lengthways down the middle straight through the carcass (with legs still attached). Pat dry before marinating.
  • Take all the ingredients (except the ghee) and put them in a blender and blitz until totally smooth.
  • Place the partridge halves in a container and pour the marinade over the top of them.
  • Delicately turn the birds in the marinade then put a lid over them and leave in the fridge for at least 6 hours.
  • Skewer (or double skewer if using thin round ones) the birds through the base of the leg meat and straight through the breast and wing making sure that all the breasts are on the same side. I tend to do four halves per skewer but two might be easier.
  • Remove the lid from the barbecue and load it well with charcoal.
  • Light it then allow the embers to become grey, orange and pulsing.
  • Daub the partridge all over with marinade, ghee and only now scatter with a generous salting.
  • Arrange the skewers over the charcoal (but not too close). Put the lid on and cook for about approximately 8 minutes on each side (or less if needs be). The minimum should still be only just pink at the centre of the breast.
  • Remove from the skewers and serve with finely shredded iceberg lettuce, red onion, green chilli, whole young stems of coriander and slices of ripe tomato, all dressed in a little salt and white wine vinegar and wedges of lemon.