Monday, October 7, 2013

Winnah Winnah Partridge Dinnah

 Evan and I started out on this beautiful fall day to search for some birds. We left Meemaw and the boys at home snug in their beds. It's not often that we get a date nowadays and a good chunk of time riding down dirt roads is always nice! This country is so gorgeous. We ended up seeing two cow moose with one calf each trailing behind.
We tried some new roads we hadn't been down yet. Spotted a bird and I took a shot with the 20 gauge but I was too far away and it hopped up in the woods. I was so discouraged that I lowered the gun and started back to the blazer. Evan used a bit of profanity, disgusted with my attitude of defeatedness, and told me to walk toward the alders where the bird disappeared. I walked closer and I was able to see only his head peaking out the other side of a tree. I took the shot and feathers flew. It was a VERY exciting moment. I will admit there were a few tears....I was ecstatic.
 We came back to the house and Evan walked me through the process of skinning and cleaning the bird.
I grabbed onto the partridge feet and lined up my feet on either side of the breast and directly on top of the wings.  
And he told me to pull.
And so I did.....
And there you have it....good ole partridge breast!

So after this excitement had ended....Mom, the boys, and I went for a walk to the airline and back around to the house. We saw four partridge off to the side of the road, and it gave me an itch to go back out. Came home, packed the boys up in the blazer and off we went. Spotted the first one pretty quickly. Fired and feathers flew.

But.....he wouldn't die.

He kept flippin and floppin.

And I got the giggles.

And Evan wasn't around and I had no freaking clue what to do!

Thank goodness I didn't have to do anything. He stopped breathing and I threw him in the bag. I got one more and we headed home.

The view on the way home.

So after the fun, I had to get to work....but really...cooking doesn't usually seem like work to me! I read a little bit on what pairs well with partridge from the Joy of Cooking cookbook and a common theme seemed to be citrus. I immediately thought of an orange chicken recipe I'd found on foodgawker months ago. Evan and I were both nervous about how we'd feel about the flavor/texture of the partridge compared to chicken. We've both tried it before but it had been way overcooked with little to no flavor added. I knew the marinade would be pretty important.
A problem when you're shooting your dinner.....if you don't get a clean shot...the pellets end up buried in the meat. For the record...this wasn't one of my birds...it was Evan's!!! aahaha!
After I cleaned up the breasts, I cut them up into bite size pieces. I had to use 5 partridge breasts. I get easily distracted and I didn't bother to read the recipe for the orange chicken after I got done reading about the citrus marinade in the Joy of Cooking....SO I ended up doubling up on a marinade. You will see that the marinade in the Orange Chicken recipe is heated first and then dumped on the chicken. This one is not....so yours won't look like this but I just liked the picture. :D

I love onions and red peppers paired with this recipe. You could do whatever vegetable you wanted. I think broccoli would be great or even green beans. I just sautéed them lightly and threw them into the sauce at the end.

Bringing the sauce to a boil right before adding the partridge.


It seems like every time I make this for dinner...I regret putting the chicken in the sauce. When the chicken gets deep fried it's nice and crispy on the outside...and when the sauce is added, it takes away some of that crispiness. It's not too bad if you don't let it sit for long.  


AND the finished product. From dirt road to dinner table. Delish.
Find the recipe here: http://www.homeindisarray.com/2012/01/happy-new-year-orange-chicken.html

He is excited about the day he will be able to join us! :)


  1. If it were my job to shoot supper before we could eat I am afraid we would starve!! I am impressed (and a little nauseous .....)!! :)

  2. so how did you like the partridge as opposed to chicken? So glad I could join you all this weekend! My heart is full!

  3. Enjoyed your efforts sharing this story and pix with us all! From an "Ole Moose Man" Happy Trail's on your Adventure! Roger Lambert

  4. Looking forward to reading more of your adventures as a warden's wife. Life in the woods is the best life!

  5. Good girl! You did a great job making a lovely meal for your family!

  6. Enjoying reading about your adventures! Keep up the great work!

  7. Fantastic! What a great example of how to put (good) food on your plate. It doesn't get any more organic. Love the blog and can't wait to read more.

    1. You need to be writing your own book - for it is you warden wives who have kept - and do keep - those of us in the field in line. You are the unpaid, unsung heroes of the agency and as I see it, the Sportsmen of Maine owe each of you a great deal of gratitude. We wardens, retired and active, never would have survived had each and every one of you wives not been along our sides supporting us. This is a well done site and I hope you keep the memories - you are setting on your own gold mine!

  8. Great Job Loved it. I love to cook myself and this looked awesome. I have a song half finished called "The Wardens Wife". It's something that I want to be just right and capture what the wives and children go thru being a wardens wife. When I was in Wesley the A-unit took the boys bird hunting, when we were in Jackman she took them out deer hunting, and they were successful !! You will miss those times :)

  9. I can't help but think of Helen Hamlins book Nine Mile Bridge and it took place only a few miles from your new home. Stop and see us in T8R9.

  10. Could not agree more with Warden Ford.