Roast Partridge with Cotechino Stuffing

David Massey's gamey chicken liver and sausage-stuffed partridge is wrapped in pancetta and served with a cep sauce and a dollop of creamy polenta
By David Massey
Roast Partridge with Cotechino Stuffing
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 1/2 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp thyme, leaves only
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 1/2 cotechino sausages, available from Italian delis
  • 100 g chicken livers, chopped
  • 25 g soft breadcrumbs
  • 100 ml red wine
  • 20 g butter

For the partridge

  • 2 partridges
  • 4 thin slices pancetta
  • 25 g cep mushrooms, soaked in hot water
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely diced
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 tsp thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tsp butter
  • polenta, to serve
  • salt and black pepper


1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Tip in the onion, garlic, celery, carrot and thyme and cook until soft.

2. Add the sage, crumble in the cotechino sausage and fry for 5 minutes. Stir in the livers and cook for a further 2 minutes.

3. Pour in the wine and cook until reduced by half - about 10 minutes. Season and leave to cool. Fold in the breadcrumbs.

4. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7.

5. Stuff each partridge with the sausage mixture and wrap two slices of pancetta around each bird to secure the stuffing.

6. Squeeze the ceps dry and roughly slice, saving the soaking liquor. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan, and add the garlic, onion, thyme and chopped ceps. Cook until the onion has softened. Add the cep juices and simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed.

7. Heat a roasting tin with the remaining olive oil, over a medium hob. Brown the meat on both sides, before transferring to the oven and roasting for10 minutes. Stir in the mushroom mixture and cook for a further 2 minutes.

8. Remove the birds from the oven and keep warm. Stir the juices and mushroom mixture over a low heat and add a teaspoon of butter to enrich the sauce. Serve the partridge with the mushroom sauce.

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