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    Spatchcocked Partridge with Moroccan Spices and Roasted Root Vegetables

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    Spatchcocked Partridge with Moroccan Spices and Roasted Root Vegetables

    Game is eaten throughout the Mediterranean and North Africa and the unique taste of partridge is perfect with Moorish spices. This dish is also great served with saffron- and mint-infused rice.

    • Preparation time: 45 minutes, plus infusing
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes
    • Total time: 2 hours 15 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 15 minutes

    Serves: 6


    • Dressing
    • 20g raisins
    • 100ml olive oil
    • Juice of ½ lemon
    • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
    • 60g toasted, roughly chopped almonds
    • Salt and freshly ground pepper
    • 3 tbsp olive oil
    • 6 partridges
    • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    • ½ tsp ground ginger
    • Freshly grated nutmeg (about ¼ of a whole one)
    • 20g dried apricots, chopped
    • Root Vegetables
    • 3 large Desiree potatoes, cut into wedges
    • 2 tbsp olive oil
    • 1 tsp honey
    • Pinch of saffron strands
    • Pinch of ground cumin
    • ½ tsp allspice
    • 4 small carrots, cut into chunks
    • Squeeze of lemon juice
    • 2 red onions, cut into thick wedges
    • 4 parsnips, cut into chunks


    1. Split the partridges down one side of their backbones with poultry shears or a strong pair of kitchen scissors. Cut down the other side of the backbones and remove. Open the birds out and press down firmly to flatten them. Mix the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Rub a little olive oil into each bird then rub each with the spice mixture. Leave for an hour to infuse.
    2. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Put the potato wedges into a bowl of cold water for 10 minutes. Drain well and dry with kitchen paper. Place in a roasting tray with the onions, parsnips, carrots, spices and honey. Season and pour over the olive oil. Toss the vegetables to coat. Roast for 45 minutes until tender and slightly charred. (Check after 30 minutes: if the carrots and parsnips are cooked, remove and set aside until the other vegetables are done.)
    3. Meanwhile, make the dressing. Soak the raisins and apricots in boiling water for 5 minutes, then drain. Whisk the lemon juice and oil together. Add the raisins, apricots, parsley and almonds and season. If making ahead of time, leave out the almonds until ready to serve.
    4. Heat a griddle pan until smoking. Seal the partridges in the pan for about 2 minutes each side - long enough to create griddle marks on them. Season with salt, place in a shallow baking dish and roast on the top shelf of the oven for the last 15 minutes of the vegetables' cooking time, or until cooked through. Leave to rest for 10 minutes. Pour any juices from the partridge pan into the dressing.
    5. Remove the vegetables from the tin, squeeze over some lemon and adjust the seasoning. Serve with the partridges, with the dressing spooned over the top.

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