Emily Watkins Oxfordshire County Cook Off recipe ...


  • Ingredients for partridge

  • 2 partridges, cleaned

  • 400ml (14floz) strong chicken stock

  • 8 sage leaves

  • 6 tbsp olive oil

  • 110g (4oz) goose fat

  • 200g (7oz) chicken hearts, cleaned and trimmed

  • 2 sprigs thyme

  • ½ head savoy cabbage, finely sliced

  • 75g (3oz) clarified butter

  • Ingredients for dumplings

  • 750g (1lb10oz) violet potatoes, scrubbed

  • 2 egg whites

  • 50g (2oz) semolina


  • 1.

    Method for partridge

  • 2.

    Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  • 3.

    Remove the breasts and legs off the partridge and set the carcass aside.

  • 4.

    Place the legs into a vac-pack bag with the goose fat.

  • 5.

    Seal, place into a water bath set at 64° and poach for 4-6 hours.

  • 6.

    Remove from the bag, take the legs out and remove the bones and set aside.

  • 7.

    Place the breasts into a vac-pack bag with half the sage leaves and 4 tablespoons of the olive oil.

  • 8.

    Seal, place into a water bath set at 57° and cook for 30 minutes.

  • 9.

    Preheat oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Place the carcass into a roasting tin in the oven for 20 minutes until browned.

  • 10.

    Remove and place into a saucepan with the chicken stock.

  • 11.

    Bring to the boil, then reduce and simmer for 25-30 minutes until thickened and reduced by half.

  • 12.

    Strain and set aside.

  • 13.

    When you are nearly ready to serve, heat a frying pan until hot, add a little of the clarified butter and the cabbage and sauté for 3-4 minutes until tender.

  • 14.

    Heat another frying pan until hot, add some clarified butter and the partridge breasts, skin side down.

  • 15.

    Fry for 2 minutes just until crispy and heated through.

  • 16.

    Marinate the chicken hearts with the remaining olive oil, the rest of the sage leaves and the thyme.

  • Method for dumplings:

  • 1.

    Place the potatoes into a pan of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour until tender.

  • 2.

    Drain and peel whilst warm, then pass through a ricer immediately into a bowl.

  • 3.

    Whisk the egg whites lightly then add to the potatoes and mix well to form a firm dough.

  • 4.

    Ideally place in the fridge and rest overnight.

  • 5.

    Dust the dough with semolina and roll out into 2.5cm log, then cut into 2.5cm/ 1” pieces, on the diagonal.

  • 6.

    Heat a frying pan until hot, add a little clarified butter and the dumplings and cook for 2 minutes until golden.

  • 7.

    Add the chicken hearts and caramelise.

  • 8.

    Add the reduced chicken stock and heat for 1 minute.

  • 9.

    Add the deboned partridge legs.

  • To serve:

  • 1.

    Pile the cabbage into the centre of the plate.

  • 2.

    Spoon the dumplings and hearts around the edge.

  • 3.

    Place the breasts on top of the cabbage and spoon the sauce around.

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