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    Roast Lemon Partridge

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    Roast Lemon Partridge

    Ingredients

    • 4 oven-ready partridges
    • 1 lemon
    • A small bunch of thyme
    • 1 tablespoon clear honey
    • A pinch of cayenne pepper
    • Freshly ground black pepper
    • 50g softened butter
    • 225g thin streaky rindless bacon, halved
    • 140ml dry white wine
    • 140ml good chicken stock

    Method

    1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7. Wipe the birds clean with a damp cloth and remove any tiny feathers. Roughly squeeze the lemon juice into a large bowl before quartering the lemon and stuffing a piece into each bird with some thyme. Add the honey to the juice, then add the birds and thoroughly coat in the mixture.
    2. Season each bird with cayenne and black pepper and arrange on a small flame-proof roasting tray. Place a nut of butter in each cavity, before smearing their breasts with the rest of the butter. Wrap each partridge in a small bacon jacket.
    3. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, then remove the bacon and keep to one side. Baste thoroughly and roast for 8 more minutes.
    4. Roll the remaining halved bacon slices into small rolls and roast separately for 20 minutes until crisp. Meanwhile, transfer the birds from their roasting trays to a serving dish - tipping each bird up as you do so, so that all their lemony juices are poured into the tray. Keep warm.
    5. Set the partridges' roasting tray over a medium-high heat and add the wine and the bacon jackets. Boil vigorously, scraping any crusty bits in the pan as you do so. Once the wine has reduced by three quarters, add the chicken stock and boil until reduced by half. Strain and serve with the partridge and the bacon rolls.

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