Recipe contributed by D. Prewett of WildandWhole
I can easily say that Hungarian Partridge is among my favorite of the game birds to eat, they are so tender and full of flavor. I can also say that Huns are among one of the more difficult upland birds to shoot, they flush very easily and move swiftly. I don’t really stand much of a chance, fortunately, I am married to a guy who can shoulder a shotgun and fold a bird before I can even say the words “Hungarian Partridge.”
This year we found a great hunting spot filled with coveys of Huns that we were able to harvest. I love trying different ways to cook wild game, so I chose to pluck about half of them for roasting whole. It does take a bit of effort to get these guys ready, thankfully they do pluck up pretty fast. After plucking I gave them a dry-brine overnight with some homemade herb salt (you can find the recipe at wildandwhole.com). Just before cooking, I rubbed them with a Lemon-Dijon glaze. The actual cook time in the oven is only a few minutes! You want to cook these to a medium/medium-rare temperature. If you over cook them they will be tough and dry. This means that in order to get a crispy skin, you have to cook it over a very high heat. I did all of this in an oven at 500 degrees, but this can also be done over the grill.
I served the Huns over roasted parsnips, carrots and leeks which were seasoned the same. You can double the Lemon-Dijon glaze and use it as a dipping sauce. These roasted veggies also happen to make the perfect ” roasting rack” in the oven for the Huns to sit on and you don’t have to dirty any extra dishes.
The next time your out bird hunting and score some Huns, consider plucking a few to roast or grill whole. It is very possible that Hungarian Partridges will become your next favorite game to eat too.
- 4 Hungarian Partridges
- 1 lb. of Parsnips & Carrots
- 2 Leeks, Sliced Lengthwise
- 2 T. Olive Oil
- 1 T. Dijon Mustard
- 1 T. Fresh Lemon Juice
- 1½ t. Honey
- Fresh Sprigs of Thyme
- Lemon Herb Salt (Substitute with Plain Salt)
- The night before cooking, pat the partridges dry with a paper towel and rub generously with the Lemon Herb Salt. For best results, loosen the skin from the meat and rub the salt directly on the meat. Let it dry out overnight in an uncovered bowl in the fridge until ready to cook.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Make the Dijon Glaze by mixing the oil, mustard, lemon juice and honey in a small bowl and set aside.
- Clean the parsnips, carrots and leeks and place on a large baking sheet or baking dish. Baste the veggies with about ½ the Dijon Glaze, reserving the rest. Season the veggies with a sprinkle of the Lemon Herb Salt, pepper, and fresh thyme sprigs. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, until nearly finished.
- While the root veggies are roasting, baste the partridges with the remaining dijon glaze over and under the skin, next to the meat.
- After the veggies have been roasting, remove from oven and turn the broiler on in the oven (or raise to 500 degrees)
- Using the parsnips and carrots as a roasting rack, arrange the partridges face side up on top. Broil the partridges in the oven for approximately 8 minutes until the meat is cooked through to medium temperature, and the skin is crispy.