Burnt Heather Partridge with Celeriac, Watercress & Chanterelles
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Burnt Heather Partridge with Celeriac, Watercress & Chanterelles

Ben Radford, Timberyard, Edinburgh - February 10th, 2014

Read Ben Radford's interview in Kingdom of Cooks: Conversations with Britain's New Wave Chefs.

Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main


  • 2 whole partridges, cleaned, legs and crown separated
  • 250g duck fat
  1. Heat oven to 175°F (80°C).

  2. Place partridge legs in small pot; cover with duck fat; cook until meat flakes off the bone; remove from oven; allow to cool; reserve.

Game stock:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 leek
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 2 bottles good beer
  • 1 Tbsp. red currant jelly
  • sea salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground

Roast partridge bones in hot oven until golden brown; sauté onion, carrot, leek, celery, and thyme until lightly colored; add bones, 1 bottle of beer, and enough water to cover; simmer over low heat 6 hours; strain stock into clean pan; reduce by 3/4 over high heat, skimming off any fat; add second bottle of beer; reduce by 1/2; add red currant jelly; season; reserve.


  • 1 sm. onion, sliced
  • unsalted butter
  • sea salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 lg. celeriac, peeled, cut into 3 disks, and punched with small round cutter (or apple corer) to yield 4 cylindrical bâtons per disk (12 total), trimmings sliced and reserved
  • 100ml double cream
  • 100ml water
  1. Sweat onion down in pot over medium heat with butter, salt, and pepper; add celeriac trimmings; cook until almost done, being careful not to color; add cream and water; bring to boil; remove from heat; puree in a blender until smooth; season; reserve (keep warm).

  2. Blanch bâtons until almost cooked; shock; pat dry; reserve.


  • 1 bunch watercress, leaves picked from stalks (reserve several trimmed sprigs for garnish)
  • 50ml rapeseed oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground

Blend watercress leaves and oil in food processor until smooth; strain through a sieve or muslin cloth; season; reserve.


  • 12 chanterelles, cleaned and trimmed
  • unsalted butter
  • sea salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground

Quickly pan-fry chanterelles in pan over medium heat with butter; remove from heat; season; reserve (keep warm).


  • unsalted butter
  • rapeseed oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper, freshly ground
  • 4 sprigs dried heather, flowers and sprigs separated
  1. Heat grill or salamander.

  2. Remove legs from duck fat; crisp under grill.

  3. Pan-fry celeriac bâtons in butter until golden brown.

  4. Heat oven to 375°F (190°C).

  5. Remove excess bones from the crown, reserving for stock; rub oil, salt, and pepper over crown; pan-fry over medium heat until skin is golden brown; place in oven, skin-side up; cook 3 minutes; place heather sprigs on metal tray; remove partridges from oven; light sprigs on fire; place partridges atop lit flame; cover with metal bowl or lid; allow to rest 2 minutes.

  6. Carve breasts from crown; season; spoon game sauce on plate; drizzle with watercress puree; dollop 2 quenelles celeriac puree on plate; place 1 pheasant leg and breast, 3 chanterelles, and 3 celeriac bâtons on each plate; sprinkle puree with heather flowers; garnish with a few watercress sprigs.