Award-winning chef-patron Pascal Canevet makes the most of what this season has to offer and shares a partridge recipe
This recipe is a simple seasonal dish combining the gentle freshness of celeriac with roasted golden chestnuts and partridge. It simply oozes flavour yet is a lovely light dish, proving we don’t have to turn to robust stews this time of year. Across Suffolk partridges and pheasants are everywhere with the game season well and truly under way.
A small bird that so often is overlooked, partridge offers a sweet delicate flavour and takes just minutes to prepare. Packed full of protein, with very little fat, it offers a nutritional alternative to chicken. I use local Breckland partridge available from good butchers across the county. Do bear in mind if buying a whole bird, it may contain remnants of ‘shot’.
Celeriac or celery root may not look like the most exciting vegetable, but I assure you it offers an exquisite lightness to the dish, enhancing the naturally sweet flavour of partridge. The sauce is so creamy it’s like velvet. When buying celeriac look for a firm, heavy bulbous root. It has a long shelf life, so use any spare for stock, as it’s ideal in homemade vegetable soup.
SEASONAL PARTRIDGE, CELERIAC SAUCE AND CHESTNUTS
8 partridge breasts (skin on)
100g of celeriac trimmed and peeled
150g chicken stock
50ml whipping cream
100g salted butter
Salt and black pepper to taste
Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and add the chestnuts for ten minutes. Remove from heat. While still warm peel off the outer brown shell and papery thin skin underneath with a small sharp knife. Store in a warm place until needed.
Cut the celeriac into small cubes. Bring the chicken stock to boil then add the celeriac and simmer for about 15 minutes until tender. Allow to cool.
Add stock and celeriac into a food processor, add the cream and purée until smooth. Pass the sauce through a sieve and season. Set aside.
Add 70g of butter to a heavy-based frying pan and allow to get hot. Season the partridge breasts both sides and place skin side down in pan. Pan-fry for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until just cooked through, basting with butter as you go. Remove from the heat and leave to rest in a warm place for about five minutes.
Meanwhile, add 30g of butter to a new pan. Once foaming, add the chestnuts and sauté until golden brown.
Arrange the partridge breasts evenly on four warmed plates. Add the chestnuts and spoon over the delicious sauce. Serve with your choice of seasonal vegetables. Enjoy!
And to drink:
Karine Canevet recommends: Pair with Côte de Beaune Villages, Olivier Leflaive, Côtes de Beaune 2014. An aromatic, elegant Pinot Noir layered with spiced black cherries from Burgundy – you’ll find it on our wine list.
Pascal Canevet is chef-patron of award-winning Maison Bleue, an intimate fine-dining restaurant serving a modern French menu, Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds
Call 01284 760623