Try your hand at a Pithivier

Autumn recipe 2021 – long leg partridge

For our first regular newsletter, we asked our judges and winners to suggest ways to cook with long-leg partridge, which is currently in season and sold by our sponsors Udale. Our judge James Martin suggested making a Pithivier. He says: “The key is the pastry and getting the right amount of turns correctly to give you an even rise. Cooking temperature and time are vital so that the pastry is cooked at the same time as the filling.  Take care and pay attention to the sealing of the edges to prevent the filling from splitting and leaking.”

Long leg Partridge Pithivier with Madeira Jus by James Martin.

Makes 6 


Puff pastry

4 ready-to-roll sheets

Partridge breast

6, from three clean crowns, carcass and bones for sauce.

Skin off, tips of breast trimmed off to make even shapes.

Foie gras

6 pieces

Frozen ‘Rougié’ 45g-50g Portions

Hispi cabbage

1 cabbage

Layers to encased meat parcel.

Using 6 leaves,

Cooked in boiling water, refresh in ice and dry on paper towel.

 Egg wash glaze: 3 Egg Yolks, pinch of salt.


Meat mousse

1            Chicken Breast, skin off, sinew removed.

1            Egg whites

3g          Salt

2g          Cep powder

250ml  Double cream

(Trim from partridge breasts)

(300g cooked pied mouton mushrooms)


Pied Mouton Mushroom        300g

Clean and roughly chop pied mouton mushroom.

Cook in foaming butter, with some chopped thyme and crushed clove of garlic.

Cool and drain well, on a towel to removed excess moisture.

Making the Pithivier filling 

Robot coupe the chicken breast with egg whites and a pinch of salt.

Pass through Tamis drum sieve and into bowl over ice.

Slowly add cream and salt, whip to light mousse.

Poach a tester of this mousse in simmering water for seasoning and a bouncy, yielding texture to the bite.

Fold through an equal quantity of cooked cold pied mouton mushroom and the partridge trim meat to the mousse.

Chill and store in piping bag.

Pan sear the foie gras escalopes from frozen and season well with salt and pepper, drizzle with a touch of ‘Xeres’ sherry vinegar while hot. Chill.

Season lightly and sandwich the chilled foie gras with trimmed breasts cut open to form a pocket.

Top the encased meat with ready mousse.

Wrap in cabbage layer, trimming the excess leaf.

Then wrap in cling film and into a Dariole mould for an even shape.

Chill to set.

Assembling the Pithivier 

Remove Dariole moulds from clingfilm. Brush the puff pastry base with egg yolk, lay on encased meat parcels.

Top with puff pastry lid, pressing out all air and sealing with thumb and fore finger.

Cut with fluted cutter.

Egg yolk and return fridge for 10 minutes.

Score in traditional Pithivier manner.

Cooking The Pithivier

Place in a fan-assisted oven at 210oC /gas mark 8/ 410oF for 12 minutes.

Rest for five minutes before carving.


Madiera Jus

1.5 litres golden chicken stock

250g game bird bones (Partridge)

1 carrots sliced

1 shallots sliced

1 celery sliced

1 leeks sliced

1 bouquet garni

3 Garlic cloves crushed

750ml litres Madeira wine


Caramelise in butter, then add vegetables.

Sweat down to a compote. Add Madeira and reduce by half, then add the stock.

Gently simmer for 1 hour, skimming regularly.

Pass through fine chinois and reduce to sauce consistency. Pass through muslin.

Refresh with more Madeira and a knob of butter to serve.

Serve with a seasonal berry compote.