Partridge with Pancetta Recipe

Dec 14, 2011 6:01 pm

Marinated in orange brandy sauce

Leave the breastbone in to keep the meat moist.

Maybe it was the Montana air, or the fact that I had walked for so many hours and so many miles to earn it, but sitting down to eat this was a revelation. The sweetness and the saltiness and the dripping fat and the most tender breast meat I had ever sunk my teeth into, all made the perfect combination. It will work with other bird meat, but I like to think there is something about the small tender white meat of the Hungarian partridge that made the experience. I recommend keeping the breastbone in whatever meat you use, whenever possible, to help the meat stay moist.

Recipes reprinted with permission from Girl Hunter: Revolutionizing the Way We Eat, One Hunt at a Time by Georgia Pellegrini.

Servings: 4 servings


For Marinade
zest of 1 orange
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup brandy
1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 teaspoon
4 partridges, butterflied; bone in
4 round; thin slices pancetta
4 tablespoons cold butter, cubed
4 thin slices Orange, cut from center

For the Marinade

  1. With a whisk, combine all of the marinade ingredients in a baking dish. Place the meat breast side down in the mixture. Marinate for 3 to 4 hours, turning over every hour.

For the Partridges

  1. Preheat the oven to broil. Place one orange slice on each breast that is sitting in the marinade and then cover with pancetta. Fasten them with a toothpick on each side.
  2. Add the cold butter to the baking dish with the marinade and place in the oven. Broil the birds breast side up, basting every 5 minutes, for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the breasts and let them rest on a plate for 10 minutes. Put the baking dish back in the oven and let the sauce reduce for 5 minutes more. Serve immediately.
Level of Difficulty: 
Prep Time: 
25 minutes, 3 to 4 hours to marinate
Cooking Time: 
35 minutes
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