Partridges With Morels

Ingredients

  • 100 dried morels
  • 2 partridges, about 3/4 pound each
  • Salt to taste if desired
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 large fresh vine leaves, optional
  • 2 squares of thin-sliced salt pork, large enough to cover breasts
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac
  • 1 tablespoon chopped shallots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

    4 servings

    Preparation

    1. Rinse morels thoroughly to rid of sand. Put in basin of cold water and let stand 20 minutes. Drain and rinse again. Add more water to cover and let stand until quite soft. Drain. Pinch off tough stem ends. Set morels aside.
    2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
    3. Sprinkle partridges inside and out with salt and pepper.
    4. Cover breast of each bird with grape leaf and then square of salt pork. Tie leaves and pork with string.
    5. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in heavy skillet and turn birds in butter. Cook, turning often, about 3 minutes.
    6. Put birds in oven breast side up and bake 15 minutes, basting often.
    7. Remove string, salt pork and leaves.
    8. Baste breasts well and return to oven for 10 minutes, basting often.
    9. Remove skillet and add Cognac. Ignite it. Place on warm platter.
    10. Heat remaining butter in skillet. Add morels and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add shallots and continue cooking about 2 minutes. Sprinkle birds with parsley. Serve carved with morels and pan juice.

    2 hour 10 minutes

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