The Maine Dish
What I ate last night: Partridge
I’ve raised me some hunters, readers. All of my kids had their lifetime licenses by the time they were six. My sons, now ten and twelve, are now old enough to hunt themselves and my daughter, who’s seven, has assumed the “Bird Dog” role, which is exactly what it sounds like. The only things I shoot are regulation paper targets at the firing range or beer cans in the gravel pit, so my only role in all this game bagging thing is Camp Cook.
Now, my menfolk are really good shots, but once in a while they leave a little evidence of the, shall we say, provenance of our food. Prepping wild game for the table is pretty straightforward, but bird shot presents a unique challenge in that it will destroy your dental work–and probably impart a decidedly metallic flavor–if it’s not identified and mitigated. But you know what? Those little steel balls represent the effort my boys went to to bring a true Maine delicacy home to Mom.
I like to dredge the breasts in seasoned flour and egg wash, coat them with Ritz cracker crumbs and pan fry in olive oil until browned but not cooked through. Into a baking dish they go topped with sliced Muenster cheese and a sprinkle of sauteed mushrooms with garlic. Bake for about 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until the internal temp reaches 160 degrees. Pure partridge heaven (but works great with chicken too).