This spatchcocked and harissa-roasted partridge recipe makes a great autumn dish. Especially for those who like it hot.
Harissa-roasted partridge is the perfect dish if you’re game for something warm and spicy. See The Fields 10 best partridge recipes for other inspired Partridge dishes. Partridge is the closest game bird to chicken, and is therefore a great way to introduce game meat to novices. However, since partridge might not be quite punchy enough for the bolder palates, the spice from the harissa will step the flavours up.
Harissa is a fiery, aromatic paste, made from chili, spices and herbs. It is widely used in North African and Middle Eastern cuisines as a condiment, or sometimes mixed with water or tomato juice to flavour stews, soups or couscous. In North Africa it’s is often served into a shallow bowl of olive oil making it the perfect ingredient for you to dip your bread into. As it’s strong and pungent, a little goes a long way for those who like it hot.
■ 4 partridges
■ 20 hot red chillies, roughly chopped
■ 2 cloves garlic
■ 4 tbsp olive oil
■ Zest of 2 lemons and squeeze of juice
■ 2 tbsp Maldon sea salt
Before beginning your harissa-roasted partridge dish, lay the partridges on their front. Using game shears, cut the backbones clean and squish them as flat as possible. It is recommended that you begin making the harissa three or four days ahead so that the fllavours can settle. Add the destalked, chopped chillies, the garlic, the olive oil and the zest of the lemons into a food processor and whizz up until everything is coarsely chopped. Scoop into a bowl and mix the sea salt through and add a squeeze of lemon juice and you are ready to go.
Rub harissa over the spatchcocked partridges and place them skin-side up on a roasting tray. Roast in a really hot oven, 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8 for 15 to 20 minutes, then rest for 10. Chop your harissa-roasted partridge into quarters and serve on a pile of couscous simply cooked with raisins, saffron, lemon and olive oil.