· 4 oven-ready Partridge
· Olive Oil
· 250ml dry Ellenden Cider
· 2 tbsp. clear church Lenches Honey
· 200ml Chicken stock
· 1 Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 2½ cm chunks
· few Thyme sprigs, leaves stripped.
1) Cut the backbone out of one of the partridges using a strong pair of kitchen scissors or poultry shears. Turn the bird over, then use your bodyweight and press down on the middle of the breast with the heel of your hand, until the partridge flattens out. Repeat.
2) Heat a little oil in a large non-stick pan. Season the birds with salt and pepper, then brown them quickly – 2 at a time – in the pan. Lift out, and set aside.
3) Mix the cider with the honey, reserve one-third of the mix, then tip the rest into the pan to deglaze Stir in the stock, then reduce the liquid down for 5 minutes or until you have a syrupy sauce. Season to taste.
4) Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Pop the squash into a mixing bowl, toss with most of the thyme, seasoning, a little of the reserved cider mix and 1 tbsp. olive oil. Tip onto a non-stick baking tray, then roast for 30 minutes.
5) Now toss the partridges in what’s left of the cider mix. Grind lots of black pepper over and scatter with a good sprinkling of salt. Nestle the partridges amongst the squash, breast-side up. Sprinkle with a little more thyme. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove the birds and let them rest. Turn off the oven and keep the squash warm. Cut the birds into quarters and serve on top of a pile of squash. Drizzle around a little of the sauce and scatter with a little thyme, to serve.