This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
The old bird confessedly has a much higher flavor than the young one but do what one may the cook will never obtain the delicacy and tenderness which are characteristic of the young birds. The best way to prepare partridges in perfection is to cook old and young together; the old birds to impart flavor, the young ones only to be served at the table in the first instance, the others to appear in other forms than roasted or boiled, as in salmis or soups.
Partridge. Perdreau Or Perdr1x.
Boiled partridge with cabbage. One of the national dishes of France. Two young and one old partridges in a stewpan with 3 or 4 heads of cabbage, 4 sausages, 1 saveloy, 1/4 lb. parboiled bacon, parsley, 1 qt. stock, 1 glass sherry; simmered an hour.young partridges taken out, cabbage, etc., cooked longer. Cabbage pressed, chopped, placed on dish with sliced sausages and bacon as a border, partridges carved and piled in the middle, liquor remaining mixed with brown sauce poured over.
If you wish for a salmis possessing all desirable qualities do not use the leavings from a previous day, but let the bird be roasted 1/2 hour before dinner, cut it up while still warm and keep in a closed saucepan while sauce (fumei) is made of the bones and trimmings with sherry, onion, thyme, 1/2 a bay leaf, peppercorns and mushrooms and brown sauce. Boil down, strain and pour it over the cut up partridge.
Partridge browned on the outside in a pan with chopped bacon, onion and aromatics, wine added, braised gently. Raw ham cut in dice, a cupful of cloves of garlic previously parboiled and red pepper added.
Larded on the breasts, covered with buttered paper in a saucepan with vegetables and aromatics, braised in own steam and liquor 2 hours.
Two kinds of fillets. (See Epigramme)
Thin round or oval slices from the breast in a white game sauce with truffles.
An ornamental mould of vegetables filled with larded and braised partridges, pieces of sausage, dice of bacon and jelly. (See Chartreuse).
Outside fried with butter and ham, espagnole, water, sherry, parsley, aromatics, red pepper, all stewed together 40 minutes. Sauce strained.