Pan-Fried Partridge Breast on Soba Noodles with Horseradish & Balsamic Vinegar

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Preparation info

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Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

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Partridge is a delicious bird that I love to eat in the latter part of the year in London. They’re wonderful roasted whole accompanied by sweet potato chips, roast garlic and bread sauce. But – as in this recipe – a good way to serve partridge is to take the breasts off the carcass and pan-fry them in butter and olive oil until they’re just cooked. Any small bird can be treated in a similar way; just remember to cook the flesh quite rare and leave it to rest in a warm place for at least 5 minutes before eating. This allows the meat to relax and prevents that bleeding look that some cooked meat can have.


  • 6 partridge breasts, off the carcass, all feathers removed and wing bones cut off
  • Salt and pepper
  • 100g (oz) unsalted butter
  • 30ml (1fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated horseradish
  • 30ml (1fl oz) good balsamic vinegar
  • 100ml (fl oz) brown roast chicken stock
  • 300g (11 oz) cooked soba noodles


Season the breasts lightly with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Heat up a frying pan and, when it’s hot, add the butter; let the butter melt and once it stops frothing add the olive oil; then put in the breasts, skin side down. Keep the heat on medium high and fry for 2 minutes before turning over and cooking for a further minute. Remove the breasts to a warmed plate and keep in a warm place.

Add the oregano to the pan and stir well, then add the horseradish, balsamic vinegar and stock and bring to the boil. Boil until the sauce has reduced by half, then take it off the heat and return the breasts to the pan. Heat up the soba noodles and serve the breasts on top with a covering of the sauce.

This is one of those dishes that I would dream about if I was stranded on a desert island. It is sweet, savoury, crisp and creamy and the aroma is heaven. It’s easy to make and, once it’s all cooking away, you can relax until it’s ready. It reheats well, so it can be made in advance and kept for a few days in the fridge. To reheat, just put it into an ovenproof dish, cover with foil and warm at 160°C/325°F/Gas 3 for 30 minutes.