- 4 partridge, oven ready
- 50g butter
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 savoy cabbage
- 5 juniper berries, crushed slightly
- 100g cooked chestnuts
- 100g smoked bacon
- 200ml milk
- 1 small onion, finally diced
- 25g butter
- 100g soft white breadcrumbs
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 clove
- Ground nutmeg
- 3 large potatoes
- 500ml vegetable oil, for frying
- Redcurrant jelly to serve
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.
- For the bread sauce, put 25g of butter, the onion, bay leaf and clove into a saucepan and cook slowly until the onion is soft. Add the breadcrumbs and milk. Slowly bring to a simmer, season well with salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Cover the sauce with greaseproof paper, cook very slowly until thick.
- Rub the partridge with butter and season. Place the thyme and bay leaf into each cavity of the birds. Put on a baking tray, cook for 18mins in a pre-heated oven. Baste the partridge during cooking to prevent them drying out. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 15mins.
- While the partridge are cooking, finely slice the cabbage leaves. Chop the chestnuts and squash the juniper berries. In a frying pan heat the bacon until brown then add the juniper, butter and cabbage. Add a splash of water to steam, season and leave the cabbage to wilt. Finally add the chestnuts.
- For the game chips, peel and thinly slice the potatoes. Half fill the pan with oil and heat. Fry the chips in batches until golden brown and lay on absorbent paper to drain excess fat.
- To serve, place a spoonful of the cabbage on the plate, and place the partridge on top, lay on a few game chips and a portion of bread sauce. Garnish with watercress and redcurrant jelly.