This is a delicious little dish I made while bird hunting in Montana. You should really try it. Even if you don’t have a partridge handy, it will work with other bird meat… like chicken for example. I recommend keeping the bone in whatever meat you use so the meat doesn’t dry out.
These are the things you will need: pancetta, orange, lemon, salt, pepper, brandy, olive oil, orange juice, dried parsley, dried rosemary, dried tarragon, butter!
Whisk all of the ingredients together in a baking dish except for the butter, the whole orange and the pancetta.
Place the birds breast side down in the marinade and put them in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours, turning them over from time to time. The longer it stays in the marinade, the more aromatic the meat will be. But since the meat is delicate you want to stop after about four hours, otherwise the orange flavor will overwhelm it. Cut your orange slices thinly and set them aside as well.
Right before it goes into the oven, place 1 piece of orange and 1 piece of pancetta on top and toss in the cold butter cubed.
You’re going to baste it every 5 minutes.
…Until the pancetta is crisp. The breast meat should be pretty firm but skill give when pressed.
Then you can reduce the sauce further by putting it back into the oven while the birds rest. Then you pour it over.
And if you want to serve it as an appetizer, you can cut the birds in half so that everyone gets 1 breast. I like to slide the orange and pancetta off and eat them as a side here so as to get the full delicate flavor of the meat.
“Partridge with Pancetta in Orange Brandy Sauce”
For the Marinade: