Roast stuffed partridges with festive stuffing

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour

Serves 4

From The Hairy Bikers' Twelve Days of Christmas


  • 4 partridges (or poussin)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 shallots, peeled, finely chopped
  • 100g/3½oz fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 150g/5oz good-quality pork sausage meat
  • 75g/3oz cooked chestnuts, chopped
  • 4 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 streaky bacon rashers


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 5.

  2. Rinse the partridges, inside and out, then pat dry, inside and out, using kitchen paper. Set aside.

  3. Heat half of the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until softened but not coloured.

  4. Mix together the breadcrumbs, sausage meat, chestnuts, sage leaves, apricots and lemon zest in a bowl until well combined. Stir in the cooked onions and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set the stuffing mixture aside to cool.

  5. When the stuffing mixture has completely cooled, stuff the partridges with it. Place the stuffed partridges into a roasting tray and smear the remaining butter all over them. Top each partridge with two rashers of streaky bacon.

  6. Roast the stuffed partridges in the oven for 45 minutes, or until cooked through (the partridges are cooked through when the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of each bird). Set aside to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

  7. Serve with fondant potatoes and pickled pears.