Herbed Partridge with Sprout and Chestnut Risotto

For an elegant alternative to the traditional Christmas lunch, try Jason Atherton's flavoursome game bird with a suitably festive risotto
By Jason Atherton
Herbed Partridge with Sprout and Chestnut Risotto
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes plus marinating overnight
  • Effort: medium


  • 1 partridge, about 500g
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • few sprigs thyme, roughly chopped
  • 1 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
  • 2 knobs of butter
  • 75 ml red wine
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 100 ml veal or chicken stock

For the risotto

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250 g risotto rice
  • hot chicken stock
  • 100 g pancetta, blanched
  • 200 g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 100 g sprouts, blanched and finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone
  • knob of butter
  • 3 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley


1. Take the legs off the bird and set aside. Rub the crown in the olive oil, garlic and herbs and leave to marinate in the fridge for 12 hours.

2. Fry the legs in a knob of butter until golden. Add the wine and vinegar and cook until well reduced. Add the stock and reduce again to make a rich sauce. Set aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

4. Heat a knob of butter with a little olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan until starts to foam. Wipe the partridge crown of its marinade and fry until golden all over. Transfer to the oven to finish cooking (about 6-7 minutes).

5. For the risotto: heat the oil in a pan and stir in the rice. Add a ladleful of chicken stock and cook the rice, stirring all the time, until the stock is absorbed. Repeat the process until the rice is tender but retains a little bite - about 20 minutes.

6. While the risotto is cooking, fry the pancetta in a pan for a few minutes until golden, then stir through the chestnuts and sprouts.

7. Tip the pancetta mixture into the risotto, then add the mascarpone, butter, parmesan and parsley. Heat through the sauce ready for serving.

8. Spoon the risotto into bowls. Cut the breasts off the partridge crown and arrange on top, then add the sauce and legs.

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