Partridge escabeche

Partridge escabeche

Perdiz de escabeche

By
From
Lisbon
Serves
2 as a main course, or 4 as part of a spread of petiscos
Photographer
Steven Joyce

This meat escabeche recipe uses the same technique as the perhaps better known fish escabeche on page 38. I first tried a version of this, made with quail, at chef Susana Felicidade’s restaurant, Pharmacia (which takes its name from the pharmaceutical museum it shares a home with). Its garden has one of the best views in town of Lisbon’s skyline and then out across the river.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 partridges, gutted and cleaned
1 onion, finely sliced
pinch salt
1 bay leaf, torn
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
4 tablespoons white wine
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
50ml water
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. For this dish, ideally you need a non-reactive saucepan with a lid, that is only just big enough to fit both partridges. Place it over a medium heat, add the oil and then the partridges and brown them all over. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. In the same pan, cook the sliced onion with the salt and the bay leaf. Sauté over a medium–low heat for about 5 minutes, until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for a further 1–2 minutes. Next, add the vinegar, wine and paprika and bring to the boil, then return the partridges to the pan with the water. Cover the pan with a lid. Turn the heat right down and simmer gently for about 30 minutes, turning the birds over once halfway through, or until the partridges are cooked through and tender. (If using poussin, the cooking time may be closer to 45 minutes, as they are bigger and meatier than partridges, and as they are chickens, need to be thoroughly cooked.)
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. Remove the partridges from the liquor and, once cool enough to handle, pull the meat from the bones and shred it into small pieces. Return the shredded meat to the vinegar and onion mixture and add the chopped parsley and a little black pepper, plus a touch more salt if necessary. Serve warm, or at room temperature, or the escabeche will keep in the fridge for 3–4 days.
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