Partridge, roasted Tuscan bread and hibiscus sauce

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An ancient symbol of victory, the laurel leaf, or bay leaf is an aromatic addition to any recipe. Working beautifully with the richness of the partridge flesh, this dish from Marco Stabile is perfect fare to serve as the weather cools.

First published in 2015





  • 4 partridges
  • 200ml of white wine
  • 50ml of dessert wine, preferably Vin Santo
  • 30g of butter
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil, for frying


  • 2 slices of bread, preferably Tuscan

Hibiscus sauce

  • 5g of hibiscus flowers, dried
  • 250ml of water
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

To plate

  • 8 bay leaves


  • Water bath
  • Vacuum bag and machine


Remove the legs and the breasts from the partridges. Reserve the livers and chop up the bones
  • 4 partridges
Heat a large saucepan over a high heat with a little oil and add the partridge bones, cook until golden brown then deglaze with white wine. Reduce by 3/4 then cover with water and allow to simmer for 2 hours
  • olive oil, for frying
  • 200ml of white wine
Pass the sauce through a fine sieve into a clean pan then return to the heat and reduce until you obtain a sauce consistency
Chop the livers and mix through the dessert wine. Season with salt and pepper
  • 50ml of dessert wine, chef uses Vin Santo
  • salt, to season
  • pepper, to season
Using the tip of a small knife, carefully remove the thigh bone from the partridge legs. Fill the space with the liver mixture
Roll the legs tightly in clingfilm and a layer of foil. Simmer in boiling water for 20 minutes, then cool in iced water
Preheat a water bath to 75°C
Remove the legs from the cling film and foil and split between 2 vacuum bags, amking sure they are laying flat. Add 1 bay leaf and 50ml olive oil to each bag and seal. Cook the thighs for 3 hours
  • 4 bay leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
Turn the water bath down to 58°C
Arrange the partridge breasts between 2 vacuum bags, making sure that they are flat. Add 50ml olive oil and a thyme sprig to each bag. Cook the breasts for 1 hour
While the partridge is cooking, bring 250ml water to the boil, turn down to a simmer and add the hibiscus flowers. Cover and leave to infuse for 15 minutes
  • 250ml of water
  • 5g of hibiscus flowers, dried
Remove the flowers and add 1 teaspoon of brown sugar. Place over a medium heat and reduce to a sauce consistency
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
Cut the bread into 1.5cm cubes. Pan fry in olive oil until golden and crispy, reserve
  • 2 slices of bread, Italian-style
Once the partridge breasts are cooked, melt the butter in a large frying pan and add the breasts and legs. Pour over the sauce and simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken
  • 30g of butter
To serve, carve the partridge breasts into slices and cut the legs in half and stand up on the plate. Arrange a few breadcrumbs around and pour over the sauce. Pipe dots of the hibiscus sauce along the middle of the plate. Garnish with a bay leaf
First published in 2015

One of Tuscany’s most important chefs, Marco Stabile honed his craft in some of the most respected kitchens in Italy. He now runs his own Michelin-starred restaurant, reimagining classic regional dishes and bringing them into the 21st century.

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