- For the partridges: Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
- Separate the legs from the partridges. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pan and fry the legs, skin side down and then transfer to a lidded pot with enough of the stock to cover. Braise gently on a medium heat for 1 hour.
- Mix together the spices and lemon zest. Season the remaining crowns of partridge and paint with 2 tbsp olive oil and then dust with half the mixed spices. Roast for about 25 minutes or until pink. When cooked allow to rest for 10 minutes before carving the meat into pieces.
- For the rice: Heat the remaining oil and cook the shallot and celery until they start to colour then add the rice and continue frying for a further 5 minutes. Season and add the stock. Part of this stock could be made up of the cooking liquor from the partridge legs and the pan residues from the roast partridge crowns.
- Cook the rice on a low heat until most of the liquid has been absorbed then stir in the remaining spices, a knob of butter and the chopped herbs. Serve with the partridge legs and breast pieces. Garnish with a bundle of chives.
More stock or water can be added to the rice if it is not sufficiently cooked after the initial stock has been absorbed.
To speed the recipe up you can lessen the water or stock added to the rice by a third and then add the partridge’s cooking liquor toward the end of the cooking time.