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Second only to Woodcock as my favourite game bird and a dish I never fail to put on my menu during the autumn.


In terms of popularity it is up there with pheasant and a nicely roasted partridge is a gentle introduction to eating game for the uninitiated. A relative of the pheasant there are two main species to consider; the English or grey partridge and the French or red-legged. The English partridge is considered the superior with a more delicate flavour though it is considerably harder to find than the French variety.

Partridges are at their best in October when they are still full of grain from the harvested fields; they are best eaten young and hung for no more than four to five days. The flesh of a partridge is quite pale, slightly darker than chicken and its flavour is spoilt if left to become too ‘gamy’.

A roast partridge makes a fine meal and with an undressed weight of around 12-16 0z a whole bird is required per person.

How to Cook Partridge

Content and picture © Miles Collins