Partridge Breasts with Chilli, Chocolate Sauce

Background: Serge and Pat: She is a very good cook and he is almost always hungry. All they eat is locally produced, organically grown etc etc, and when you have friends of the sort, it gets a little tricky to plan menus. Not that they would not eat any thing and every thing because they would, but when they come over I am so very pleased that I go the extra mile.

So it was time for game, not the playing kind of game, the bird kind of game, I plump for Partridge and whom better to order my organic food from but Abel and Cole, they tell you exactly where their products come from. I ordered a pack 5 breasts, a total of 250g which cost £ 3.75, this is fantastic value for money. It arrived in a cool box, perfectly pack and delivered with a smile.

Partriges are in season from September to February. The big problem with this kind of bird is that it has a tendency to dry out when cooking it but not if you are extra vigilant. And of course I was....not.

The meat was just delicious, I don't think I ever ate partridge before and honestly you should give it a go, it was firm, tasty just like it should be.
As for the recipe, He picked it and what may have sounded a little crazy worked really well. It is a Sophie Grigson's recipe adapted to our French guests.
Partridge with Chilli Chocolate Sauce
5 Partridge breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5-8 garlic cloves, peeled but whole
2 cloves
1tsp chilli (make it half if you like it less hot)
1 bay leaf
300 ml (10fl oz) dry white wine
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Salt and fresly ground black pepper
Served with roasted sweet potatoes, tomatoes, potatoes.
Brown the breasts in 2 tablespoon of oil in a frying-pan over a high heat.
Transfer to a casserole.
Fry the onion in the same oil, adding a little more if needed, then transfer to the casserole.
Add all the remaining ingredients except the chocolate and potatoes.
Bring up to a gently simmer.
Cover tightly and continue simmering for about 10 minutes, until the partridges are tender. Transfer to a warm serving dish, surround with cooked vegetables and keep warm while you finish the sauce.
Stir the chocolate and the chilli into the remaining liquid in the pan and simmer for another 2-3 minutes.
Rub the contents of the pan through a sieve, pushing through as much of the onion and garlic as you can to thicken and flavour the sauce.
Stir, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour the sauce over the partridges and potatoes and serve.
When I was in Mexico, one evening, in a restaurant, I ordered chicken with a chocolate sauce. Next to our table were a couple of French people, when the dish arrived the guy commented assertively, very loudly, in this kind of unmistakable French direct elegance. "Look at this it looks like Shit" so one piece of advice do not cover the breast completly with the sauce.

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