partridge risotto – serves 4

for risotto:
1 medium onion very finely diced
100g unsalted butter cut into 1 cm cubes and kept cold plus another 40g
400g Vialone Nano or Carnaroli risotto rice
large glass of dry white wine
1000ml good quality chicken stock
150g of grated grana padano (or parmesan) cheese
parmesan shavings
handfull of rocket leaves
reserved partridge carcasses
for partridge stew:
1 shallot, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
bouquet garni made of rosemary, bay leaf
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
8 partridge breasts, skin removed
8 partridge legs
1 tsp tomato paste
500ml good quality chicken stock

Remove the legs and breasts from 4 partridges. Place the carcasses into 1L chicken stock and simmer for 20 minutes

To make the partridge stew, heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan, add the vegetables and bouquet garni and cook slowly for about 4 minutes. Add the partridge legs and breasts. Continue to cook for another 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste, cover with 500ml of stock and simmer for 30 minutes.

Allow to cool enough to remove meat from the legs and flake all the meat back into cooking juices.

Over a medium heat in large heavy based pan soften the onion in 40g butter for 3 minutes. Don’t let the butter or onion brown. Add the rice and stir to coat in butter. Cook for two minutes stirring occasionally until rice is translucent.

Add a glass of white wine to the rice and stir (heat this in microwave before adding). 

When the wine is absorbed by the rice add a ladle of hot stock.

When stock is almost all absorbed, add another ladle. Repeat until all stock has been absorbed – should be about 3 to 4 ladles. This takes around 15 to 20 minutes in total. It’s important to stir regularly to avoid rice sticking to the base of the pan – but not constantly since this could break up the rice.

After about 10 minutes, add the partridge leg stew to the rice

When all of the stock is absorbed, the rice should have a loose creamy texture and still have a little firmness to the bite.

Remove from heat for one minute to allow to cool a little, otherwise butter may split.

Add the chilled butter cubes and gently beat in until all melted.

Add grated cheese and stir.

Season to taste.

Top the risotto with some rocket and parmesan shavings