Partridge with mole sauce

Yield: 8 Servings

Measure Ingredient
\N \N Stephen Ceideburg
4 \N Partridges, about 1 lb. each
¼ cup All-purpose white flour
\N \N Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 small Onion, chopped
2 \N Cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Minced fresh cilantro
1¼ cup Defatted chicken stock or water
2 \N Canned or fresh plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 \N Bay leaf
½ teaspoon Dried thyme
½ teaspoon Cinnamon
¼ cup Pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
½ \N Dried mild dried pepper
1 \N Chipotle pepper or to taste, seeds removed
½ ounce Unsweetened chocolate, chopped

This is a strong sauce, but partridge is an intensely flavored bird and is equal to it. Serve with rice or soft flour tortillas. Note: Pasilla and ancho peppers can be ordered from Dean & DeLuca, 560 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, (800) 221-7714.

Tie partridge legs together and secure to the body with a toothpick.

Combine flour, ½ tsp. salt and ½ tsp. pepper in a shallow dish.

Dredge partridges in flour mixture. Heat oil in a deep casserole with a lid over medium-high heat. Brown partridge in batches, turning, for about 5 minutes. Set aside. Add to the pot onions, garlic, 1 Tbsp.

cilantro and ¼ cup stock or water and cook for about 2 minutes, or until softened. Add tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, cinnamon and remaining 1 cup stock or water. Return birds to the pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer, basting occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the birds are tender and their juices run clear when they are pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, roast pepitas over medium heat in a small, dry skillet, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Set aside. Roast pasilla and chipotle peppers in the same skillet for about 30 to

40 seconds until fragrant.

Remove birds from the casserole dish and cool slightly. With poultry shears, cut them in half, discarding the back bone. Set aside and cover with foil to keep warm. Boil the sauce over high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until it has been reduced to 1 cup. Add pepitas, dried peppers and chipotles to the cooking liquid and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove bay leaf and transfer the sauce to a blender or food processor. Add chocolate and blend until smooth. If the sauce seems too thick, add a little stock or water.

Return the sauce to the casserole dish and heat through briefly over low heat. Taste for seasoning: it should be smoky, hot and slightly bitter. Nap the birds with the sauce and garnish with the remaining 2 Tbsp. cilantro.


From "Eating Well", Jan/Feb, 1992.

Posted by Stephen Ceideburg

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