Spiced Spatchcock Partridge

The brining is the real key in this dish. Through the wonder of osmosis, brining works brilliantly with both Partridge and Pheasant anytime you are dry cooking on the bone. This one is just a plain salt water brine with no added flavouring as the meat is quite well spiced afterwards, but try experimenting with wine, cider, beer…even ginger beer, the possibilities are as usual endless.

The result of the brining is much juicier meat, which when you are BBQ-ing at relatively high heat is much more forgiving. Be sure not to use a metallic container, as this will taint the meat.

Serves 4
4 whole Partridge
2 lt water
1 handful of salt
4tbsp olive oil
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1tsp fennel seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp smoked paprika
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2tbsp brown sugar
1tsp salt
1tsp black pepper


  • To spatchcock the Partridge, cut up either side of the backbone with a pair of decent scissors and remove.
  • Spread the bird out, breast side up, and apply a good thwack to the breastbone with the butt of your hand to flatten it out.
  • Dissolve a handful of salt in 500ml of boiling water, then add the remaining 1.5lt to cool it down.
  • Place the Partridge and the brine in a snug non-metallic dish so the meat is fully covered, weigh down with an upside down lid if necessary. Leave in the fridge for between 12 hours minimum and 24 hours maximum.
  • Remove the birds, pat them dry and smother well with all remaining ingredients.
  • BBQ on a medium to high flame for around six minutes each side, turning as necessary.
  • Allow to rest and serve with some spicy sweet beetroot, carrot and onion slaw, Greek yoghurt and a drizzle of pistachio oil.


Recipe & Photograph Credit: Tom Godber – Ford Moore
From: Talking Game Recipe Book