Risotto with Sautéed Partridge and Apples

Risotto with Sautéed Partridge Breasts and Apples

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes


This risotto recipe celebrates autumn, with lightly cooked partridge breasts and apples.




  • 1.5 litre (6 cups) hot chicken stock
  • 60g (2 oz) butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fairly fine
  • 250g risotto rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) dry cider
  • 60g (2 oz) parmesan


  • 450g (1 lb) partridge breasts, about 23 pieces each
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple/cider brandy (or regular)


  • 2 medium eating apples (I used braeburn)
  • 1/2 Tbsp oil


  • some lemon juice and zest
  • a few sprigs parsley, finely chopped
  • parmesan cheese flakes to serve
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place the stock on the hob and leave it simmering on low heat as you cook the risotto.
  2. Heat the olive oil and half the butter in a large, wide pan on medium heat. Sauté the onions until translucent, about 1 minute.
  3. Tip the rice in along with the bay leaf and coat thoroughly with all the lovely onion-butter mix, for about 1 minute.
  4. Add the cider and stir well, leave to cook on medium heat until it’s dried up, that should only take about 30 seconds. As mentioned, skip the cider if you like, and proceed to the next step.
  5. Add 250ml (1 cup) of the simmering stock and stir the contents of the pan. Leave to cook, stirring a couple of times until all the stock is absorbed, then add another 125ml (1/2 cup) of the stock. Keep repeating this, add, stir, let the stock be absorbed, stirring a couple of times, until you are left with the final 2 ml (1 cup). This will take about 15 minutes.
  6. Check the rice at the 12 minute mark. Is it cooked – soft on the outside with just a bite in the middle? Is the risotto looking creamy, like a thick version of rice pudding? If it is, it’s done. If it’s not, add more stock, and keep cooking. And keep checking.
  7. Then check the seasoning – does it need more salt? Add some if you think it does.
  8. Take off the heat. Stir in the second half of the butter and the parmesan and stir it all in thoroughly and vigorously for a whole 30 seconds. This will create an emulsion and give you that soft, stringy texture synonymous with risotto.
  9. Cover, and keep hot on the hot hob with the fire off.

The Partridge

  1. If you are happy to do so, start doing the partridge halfway through cooking the risotto. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and fry the garlic for 30 seconds.
  2. Place the partridge breasts in the pan, and increase the heat to medium-high.
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and the rosemary leaves. If your frying pan isn’t big enough, do it in 2 lots, as overcrowding the pan will result in stewing the meat, not frying. Cook for 1 minute, then flip over to the other side.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper again. Cook for 1-2 minutes, pressing down on the meat with your spatula to aid the cooking. At 1 minute, the meat will be pinky done, depending on its thickness. I like to go for 2, getting a charred surface, on both sides, flipping over one more time, if need be, to get the other side brown as well.
  5. Transfer the partridges to a warm plate, along with all the garlic and rosemary, and any liquid. Keep warm.
  6. Immediately, pour the half tablespoon of oil for the apples into the same pan without cleaning the pan. Still on medium-high heat.
  7. Place the apples, either cut side down and leave to cook for 1 minute.
  8. Flip over and turn the heat off and leave it alone while you dish up.


  1. Dish up the risotto into plates.
  2. Top with 2-3 partridge breasts, depending on number of diners. Drizzle any juice all over the risotto.
  3. Place a few apple slices on the side or all around, as in the images above.
  4. Squeeze some lemon juice all over the partridge.
  5. And sprinkle some parsley and lemon zest, some parmesan flakes, top with freshly ground black pepper and serve up!

  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian/British Fusion


  • Serving Size: 4-6