And a partridge in…….

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Before cooking in the oven

A Le Creuset casserole dish ( or Dutch oven for the yanks), well four partridges actually.

Take four partridges, brown them a tablespoon of olive oil and another of butter in a hot pan. Transfer them to the casserole. Meanwhile, keep that frying pan hot while you peel and chop 4 carrots, peel a few shallots, maybe add half a leek or some celery and throw them in that sizzling frying pan with as many cloves of garlic as takes your fancy. Brown the vegetables for about five minutes adding more fat as necessary. When golden, add the veg to the pot with half a litre of chicken stock and fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme and marjoram. Bring to the simmer, close the lid and cook in a low oven for 3 – 4 hours or until the birds are tender. When ready transfer the partridges and vegetables to a platter and cover with foil as you reduce the sauce by half at a galloping boil. Splash in a bit of wine. Serve in a deep dish with the reduced juices poured on top. The legs are particularly delicious.

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