Use up the last of the summer bounty for the first game suppers of the season, with Philippa Davis' crispy buttermilk fried partridge

Make use of the last of the summer produce for your first game suppers of the season. Tomatoes are at their best now, and the first partridges are tender and must be eaten whole. Try Philippa Davis’ crispy buttermilk fried partridge, hasselback potatoes and pear, tomato and feta salad.

Partridge works perfectly with vibrant flavouring. For more inspiration, read the 10 best partridge recipes for everything from pot roasting to paella.


At the start of the season partridge can be particularly tender and so eating the whole bird is a must. The pear salad adds lovely freshness in contrast to the crispy meat, which can be eaten hot or cold.

Serves 2 as a main

Crispy buttermilk partridge

  • 200ml buttermilk
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2 partridges, jointed into legs (bone in) and breasts (bone out)
  • 50g cornflour in a bowl
  • 60g panko in a bowl
  • Frying oil

Thyme & Garlic Hasselback potatoes

  • 400g waxy potatoes
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp chopped thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped in half

Pear, tomato & feta salad

  • 160g tomatoes (a mix of varieties is good), chopped into 1cm pieces
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped.
  • 2 dsp chopped parsley
  • ½ pear, cored and cut into 1cm cubes, skin on
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • ½ green chilli, finely chopped (seeds/membrane kept in if you like it hot)
  • 80g feta, cubed into 1cm lumps
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

To make the crispy buttermilk partridge, in a bowl, season the buttermilk with salt, pepper and the cayenne. Toss in the partridge pieces. Leave in the fridge for 4-8 hours.

When ready to fry, pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Remove the pieces of meat from the buttermilk and dip into the cornflour bowl then the panko. Using a deep frying pan, heat 2cm of oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking (it should turn a cube of bread golden in a few seconds), fry the partridge pieces both sides until golden then place on a metal rack over a tray – I usually use the grill rack and tray but remove any handles.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the meat is just cooked through. Serve hot or cold with the hasselback potatoes and pear salad.

To prepare the potatoes and salad, pre-heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Wash the potatoes then make slits all along them without cutting right the way through. Place them cut-side down in a roasting dish.

Spread over the butter, olive oil and thyme then season. Roast for 40 minutes until cooked then turn them cut-side up, coat the garlic in the butter and oil at the bottom of the dish and cook for another 10 minutes or until the garlic is soft and golden.

Just before serving, toss all the ingredients for the salad together and season.