Duo of Partridge

Chef Rocky Maselli | Marché, Eugene

Partridge Breast with Savoy Cabbage Braised in Riesling with Applewood Bacon and Caraway; and Seared Partridge Leg with Duck Fat Brussels Sprouts and Verjus Reduction

Yields 6 portions

Oregon Wine Pairing: Brigadoon or Paetra Riesling


3 whole partridge, bones removed except wing and leg bones (set bones aside for sauce)

1 sheet caul fat, soaked in cold water

¼ pound foie gras, cut into six ¼-inch slices

1 pint duck fat

1 large Savoy cabbage, cored and sliced

2 apples, Fuji or firm, tart variety

½ teaspoon caraway seed

12 crushed juniper berries

½ pound smoked bacon, cut into lardons

1 cup Riesling

1 pint chicken or veal stock

1 pound Brussels sprouts, cleaned and scored

1 large carrot, large dice for stock

3 stalks celery, large dice for stock

1 large onion, large dice for stock

1 cup verjus

¼ pound butter (plus 2 tablespoons)

* salt and pepper, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut slit along middle of each breast. Create pocket with finger; insert foie gras. Season cavity with salt and pepper; wrap in caul fat. Season outside of breast with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Remove thigh bone and cut off knuckle at tip of leg with heavy knife. Season with salt and pepper. In heavy-bottomed sauté pan over high or medium-high heat, quickly brown leg and stuffed breast. (I use duck fat, but you can use butter or oil.) Breast needs to brown longer due to size difference. You’re finishing partridge in oven and don’t want leg to be over-cooked or breast dry. Timing is important. After browned, set aside.
  4. For cabbage, coat sauté pan or braiser with small amount of duck fat. Over medium-high heat, render bacon until edge starts to brown. Add apples, cabbage, caraway seed, juniper berries and cabbage. Combine all ingredients; add wine and cover. Braise 5 to 6 minutes. Uncover and let liquid reduce until dry, about another 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside in warm place.
  5. Blanch Brussels sprouts in boiling salted water for 3 to 4 minutes, or until just cooked through but still a little crunchy. This step speeds up cooking process and sets color. Strain, dry and place in pot; cover with duck fat. Return sprouts and duck fat to medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until completely tender. Season with salt.
  6. For verjus sauce, roughly chop bones, carrot, onion and celery. Using small amount of duck fat, brown these ingredients in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. When bones and vegetables start to caramelize, add stock, turn heat to medium and reduce for about 15 minutes. Strain liquid through super-fine strainer and return to saucepan. Add verjus and butter to stock; reduce to thick, glossy consistency, approximately 15 minutes. Adjust seasoning and keep warm for plating.
  7. Place sheet pan with partridge in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until bird reaches 145°F to 150°F. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes before plating.
  8. To arrange, place 4 or 5 of Brussels sprouts in pile on one side of large dinner plate. On opposite side of plate, adjacent to sprouts, arrange pile of braised cabbage in equal proportion to sprouts. Slice partridge breast into 3 horizontal equal slices and place on top of cabbage. Then, place leg and thigh on top of sprouts. Drizzle with verjus sauce and serve.
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