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.
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.