6 partridges, livers reserved for the stuffing if you like
12 thick-cut unsmoked streaky bacon rashers
2 tbsp olive oil
for the stuffing:
2 large shallots, finely chopped
150g piece chorizo, finely chopped
partridge livers, chopped (optional)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200g fresh breadcrumbs
20 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
zest and juice of 1 lemon
small bunch of fresh flatleaf parsley, leaves picked and chopped
for the gravy:
2 servings of red wine and shallot jus
First, make the stuffing.
Heat the butter in a large frying pan and cook the shallots for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to soften.
Stir in the chorizo and cook slowly until the oils and juices are released.
Add the chopped partridge livers, if using, then stir in the garlic and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.
Add the breadcrumbs, chopped sage, lemon zest and juice, and season with a little salt and plenty of ground black pepper. Stir in the chopped parsley.
Preheat the oven to 200°C
Spoon the stuffing mixture into the body cavities of the partridges, season the skin well with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then cover with bacon and dot with sage leaves. Arrange in a shallow roasting tin and drizzle with the olive oil.
Roast for about 8 minutes.
Remove the bacon from the birds, leaving the rashers in the tin, baste the birds and cook for a further 8 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cover with foil to rest for 5 minutes.
Remove the partridges from the tin. Scoop the stuffing out of the cavity onto a plate. Remove the legs and breasts from the carcass. Place these over the stuffing, placing the bacon rashers back on top of the bird.
Serve the partridges with the jus, caponata and fondant potato