Young partridge weigh 1 to 1 1/2 pounds (454 to 675 grams); older birds weigh between 2 1/2 and 3 pounds (1,125 to 1,350 grams). Partridge is usually commercially available frozen.
Preparation, Uses, & Tips
Wash partridge thoroughly in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Partridge should always be cooked until well done.
To make a visual check to see if partridge is done, pierce it with a fork. You should be able to insert the fork with ease, and wiggle the leg with ease. Take care not to overcook as partridge dries out quickly.
Mix together 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; sprinkle over outside of whole partridge and inside body cavity. Place partridge in shallow pan, breast side up. To retain moisture, cover with bacon or sliced salt pork, if desired. Roast in 350°F (180°C) oven for one hour or until internal temperature reaches 180°F (82.2°C), basting occasionally. Let stand ten minutes before carving.
Wash partridge and pat dry. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add oil, then brown partridges on all sides. Add cooking liquid (water, broth, or wine), spices and vegetables, cover, and cook in a 375°F (190°C) oven or on the stovetop over slow heat for 45 minutes or until done.
Rub partridge with salt, pepper, and spices if desired. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add oil to skillet, then cook bird in covered skillet for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook another ten minutes, until bird is browned.
Rub partridge with a mixture of oil, salt, pepper, and spices. Place partridge on a prepared grill with rack about 8 inches (20cm) from the heat source. Grill, turning frequently (using tongs to prevent piercing skin) until bird is fork-tender.
To test the temperature, place your palms above the coals or heat source at cooking level. If you have to remove your hands after two seconds, the temperature is hot; after three seconds, medium hot; and after four seconds, medium. More than four seconds indicates the grill has not reached cooking temperature.
In a shallow microwave-safe dish, arrange partridges with bacon slices over the breasts. Cover and microwave on Medium for 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the dish halfway through cooking time.
Store partridge in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Raw partridge can be refrigerated for two days. Cooked partridge can be refrigerated for three days. If not served immediately, cooked partridge should either be kept hot, between 140 and 160°F (60 and 71°C) or refrigerated at 40°F (4.4°C) or lower. When transporting cooked partridge to another dining site, place it in an insulated container or ice chest until ready to eat. Freeze fresh partridge if you do not plan to cook it within two days after purchase. Wrap the bird in foil or freezer bags before freezing. Be sure to press the air out of the package before freezing. You may also freeze partridge in its original wrapping. Uncooked partridge may be kept frozen for up to six months. Cooked partridge may be frozen in the same way as fresh, unless made with a sauce or gravy. In that case, pack the food in a rigid container that has a tight-fitting lid. Thaw uncooked partridge in the refrigerator; place it in a dish in the coldest part of the refrigerator, covered with film or foil. Never thaw partridge at room temperature. In the refrigerator, a whole partridge should thaw within 24 hours. To thaw partridge more quickly, leave the partridge in its original wrapping, over-wrap with a watertight plastic bag, and immerse in cold water. Change the water often. In cold water, a whole partridge should thaw in about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. To thaw in a microwave, use the Defrost or Medium-Low setting, according to the manufacturer’s directions. Turn partridge as it thaws, taking care the partridge does not begin to cook. One whole partridge thaws in six to eight minutes.