For our partridge and quinoa nuggets, we wanted to showcase something a little different. So instead of crumbing the partridge solely in breadcrumbs, we use a higher proportion of puffed quinoa from Hodmedods, who grow an incredible array of grains here in the UK. The puffed quinoa gives the partridge a beautifully nutty flavour, with a slight hint of popcorn. As the quinoa is puffed, it absorbs less oil from the pan, meaning that the nuggets won’t be as greasy as you might expect.
To kick off our autumn feasts, we serve these partridge and quinoa nuggets heaped into an enamel mug – with a healthy mound of chilli jam to drag each nugget through. Perfect as a snack and an even better way to sneak some wild game onto the menu, for any of your more sceptical guests or little ones.
6 partridge breasts, skin removed
175g Hodmedods puffed quinoa
75g panko breadcrumbs
100g plain flour
Salt and pepper
1 tsp dijon mustard, optional
1 tsp lemon thyme leaves
Take each partridge breast and cut down the length into two or three pieces depending on their size. Place each piece of breast between two pieces of baking parchment and gently bash with the side of a rolling pin to increase its surface area a little.
Place the flour into a shallow bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Crack the eggs into another shallow bowl and whisk lightly to combine (whisk in the dijon mustard if using). Place the puffed quinoa, panko breadcrumbs and lemon thyme into a separate shallow bowl and stir to combine.
Now to crumb the partridge, for this stage you really want to have a wet and a dry hand. otherwise you will end up with rather messy hands! By that I mean you use your right hand for dipping in flour and quinoa crumb and your left hand for taking the partridge pieces out of the egg and in to the crumb.
Take each piece of partridge breast and dust with the seasoned flour, shaking away any excess. Place the floured breast into the egg and allow the excess to drip away before placing into the quinoa mix and tossing to coat the partridge pieces. Set the partridge and quinoa nuggets aside on a tray whilst you coat the rest.
For safety we are going to cook our nuggets with a little rapeseed oil in a skillet. You could by all means deep fry them but it’s not the safest option over fire. Warm your skillet over a medium-high heat, drizzle in some rapeseed oil and cook your nuggets in batches to avoid overcrowding your pan and making the nuggets soggy. Cool the nuggets until golden on both sides and just cooked through or registering a core temperature of 65℃ for the most succulent of nuggets.
Place the cooked nuggets on to a cooling rack set over a tray to allow any excess oil to drip from the nuggets. Season with a little more salt and pepper and serve with the condiment of your choice, we almost always reach for our chilli jam!
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Deep frying over an open fire can be dangerous, our advice is to shallow fry in a large skillet.
When crumbing your partridge you really want to have one hand handling wet ingredients and one handling dry ingredients, otherwise you will end up with rather messy hands! By that I mean you use your right hand for dipping in flour and quinoa crumb and your left hand for taking the partridge pieces out of the egg and in to the crumb.
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