Add spice to your starter, try Philippa Davis' sticky bourbon partridge legs with quick pickled cucumber for your next shoot menu or supper party

All shoot menus should feature game, and throughout the season your supper parties should too. Partridge, due to its flavour and size, lends itself to all sorts of uses. While the breasts usually stay fairly tender, the legs can be tougher – especially as the months go on. Try Philippa Davis’ sticky bourbon partridge legs with quick pickled cucumber. This cooking method guarantees perfect results every time.

Partridge has much to recommend it – it’s cheap, readily available, an excellent starting point for newcomers to game and can give brilliant sport. However, it can be accused of being a little bland. So use exotic flavours and spices to entice your guests into seconds. Try our traditional roast partridge supper with a Greek twist, with our roast partridge stuffed with spinach and feta. Or try our Indian inspired recipe, partridge stuffed with ginger, fennel and coriander, and serve with steaming piles of saffron rice. Our 10 best partridge recipes offer enough inspiration to see you through the season.



  • 32 partridge legs
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • 150ml cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp hot chilli sauce
  • 3 heaped tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp bourbon (or whisky)
  • 100ml apple juice

To serve

  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Quick pickled cucumber

  • 1 cucumber, cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

For the partridge legs, preheat oven to 170°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.

Toss everything together in a large bowl and season.

Lay on a shallow roasting tin lined with non-stick paper and cover tightly with foil.

Bake for 1½ hours or until the meat is tender.

Take off the foil and turn up the oven to 210°C/415°F/Gas Mark 6.5.

Roast for another 20 minutes or until the legs go golden.

Serve hot with the pickled cucumber and a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

For the pickled cucumber, toss everything together. Leave for 10 minutes then serve.