Roast partridge with chanterelle sauce
Stekt rapphöna med kantarellsås
Chanterelles are the king of wild mushrooms in Sweden and go particularly well with partridge. If you have not tried partridge before don't be put off by their unfamiliarity. Partridge is rather like chicken, but with a little bit more flavour, without being too gamey.
Partridge is often viewed as a treat even though it is not particularly expensive. Indeed, roast partridge has found its way on to the menu for Nobel Banquets in the past, so it can be considered suitable for a special celebration, yet it is economic enough for Sunday lunch.
Unfortuntately, partridge are not as common in Sweden as they once were, as their numbers have declined recently and they are now almost extinct in the north of Sweden. Nonetheless I have found plenty for sale in good butchers in Stockholm.
In the UK there is a resurgence of interest in partridge and so they are now frequently stocked by larger supermarkets. Expect to pay around £6 for a brace (a pair of birds). John Duxbury
• Chanterelle mushrooms (Cantharellus cibarius) are also called golden chanterelle or girolle mushrooms. Dried chanterelles can be bought at specialist shops and online.
• This dish works well with dried chanterelles, but is even better with good quality fresh mushrooms. If you are lucky enough to find some good fresh chanterelles use 100 g (4 oz) or more instead of the dried mushrooms listed below. However, it is better to use dried mushrooms than poor quality fresh chanterelles, which tend to become slimy and difficult to clean.
• The liquid from rehydrating dried chanterelles tends to be bitter and should be discarded. The water from rehydrating other dried mushrooms is normally very well flavoured and should be filtered, to remove any grit, and then kept for use when making a stock or gravy.
• It makes carving the birds easier if the wishbone is removed before the birds are cooked. This is easy to do: lift the skin from the neck end and feel around for the small V-shaped wishbone, cut round it with a small sharp knife, then grasp it with your hand and pull it out firmly, taking care not to damage the meat.
|20-30 g||(1 oz)||dried chanterelles (girolles)|
|1 tbsp||vegetable oil|
|50 g||(3-4 tbsp)||unsalted butter|
|salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|180 ml||(¾ cup)||medium-dry white wine|
|1 tbsp||white wine vinegar|
|300 ml||(1¼ cups)||good quality chicken stock|
|1 tsp||cornflour (corn starch)|
|1||medium shallot, finely diced|
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F, gas 7, fan 190°C).
2. Add the mushrooms to a saucepan, cover with water, bring to the boil and then simmer gently for 15 minutes. Drain and discard the water. Dry the mushrooms on kitchen paper.
3. Heat the oil and half the butter in an ovenproof pan until foaming and a nutty brown colour. Lightly season the birds then brown them all over.
4. Roast the birds for 13 minutes, turning them and basting them with the buttery juices twice.
5. Remove the birds from the pan and place on a warm plate, breast side down. Cover loosely with foil and keep warm for 10 minutes.
6. Carve the birds, removing the legs and then the breasts. Cover the carved meat with foil and keep warm.
7. Roughly chop the carcass and put in a saucepan. Add the white wine and vinegar and bring to the boil. Boil rapidly until almost all the wine has evaporated (about 5 minutes).
8. Add the stock and sugar and bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
9. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a warm saucepan. Add the cream.
10. Mix the cornflour with a little water and add to the sauce. Bring back to a gentle simmer, stirring steadily. Taste and add more cream or seasoning if desired, then keep warm.
11. Add the remaining butter to a frying pan and heat until foaming. Add the shallot and sauté for a minute.
12. Add the chanterelles and toss quickly over a high heat for 3 minutes. Season well.
13. Add half the chanterelles to the sauce and keep the others warm. Have a final taste of the sauce and adjust as necessary.
14. To serve, place the legs on the plates and then place the breasts on top. Distribute the reserved chanterelles round the partridge and then spoon over a little of the hot sauce. Serve the rest of the sauce separately.
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