Lebanese-spiced spatchcocked partridge with pickles and flatbreads

  • Main
  • medium
  • 2
  • 60 minutes, plus 2 days pickling time and 24 hours proving time



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  • 2 partridges, skin on, spatchcocked and boned out, reserving only the drumsticks on the bird (ask your butcher to do this)
  • 2 tsp kamouneh, a Lebanese spice mix sometimes known as kibbeh spice, available in Middle Eastern shops or online
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 pomegranate, juiced, or 150ml pomegranate juice
  • 50ml of olive oil



Sesame flatbreads

  • 50g of sourdough starter, or 7g fresh yeast or 1/2 sachet (3.5g) dried yeast
  • 175ml of warm water
  • 250g of bread flour
  • 5g of salt
  • 1/2 tbsp of black sesame seeds
  • 15ml of olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp of white sesame seeds
Begin by making the pickles, as this can be done weeks in advance but needs at least 2 days to infuse and pickle. Place all the ingredients apart from the beetroots, turnips, olive oil and beetroot leaves in a pan and heat to dissolve the sugar. Take off the heat and leave to infuse overnight
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Place the beetroots in a sheet of tin foil and drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt. Do the same with the turnips and roast in the oven for 45-60 minutes or until soft
Whilst still warm, peel the beetroots and turnips and quarter them then submerge in the pickle liquor. Leave to pickle for at least 24 hours, but they will also sit happily in the fridge for weeks – just seal them in a sterilised jar
The day before serving, marinate the birds. Blend the marinade ingredients together then rub all over the spatchcocked birds. Lay out skin-side up in a tray and marinate in the fridge overnight
Make the flatbread dough the day before too. Mix the starter into the warm water until thoroughly dissolved then add the oil. Place the flour and salt in a bowl and pour the liquid into it, stirring to form a dough. Leave to sit covered for 30 minutes to autolyse or just rise if using instant yeast
  • 50g of sourdough starter, or 7g fresh yeast or 1/2 sachet dried yeast
  • 175ml of warm water
  • 250g of bread flour
  • 5g of salt
  • 15ml of olive oil
After 30 minutes, tip out onto a lightly floured surface, add the black sesame seeds and knead the dough for 5 minutes. Place the dough into a clean bowl, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight
The next day, remove the dough from the fridge and divide into 4 balls. Place on a lightly floured tray, cover with some oiled cling film and leave for 30 minutes to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, turn the oven up to its highest setting and place a large baking sheet in there to preheat
Once the dough is at room temperature, use your fingers to pat out the dough balls as flat as you can, working from the centre outwards (or you can use a rolling pin if you prefer). Use your fingers to make indents in the breads, then brush with olive oil and sprinkle with the white sesame seeds
Bake the flatbreads in the hot oven for no more than 5 minutes. They need to be crisp and golden on the outside soft and pillowy on the inside. Set aside while you cook the birds
To make the glaze, gently heat the butter and stir the molasses in. Once emulsified, add the seeds
Set up a barbecue if using, or place a griddle pan over a very high heat and waiting until smoking hot. Place the birds skin-side down on the grill and weigh down with a heavy plate or pan to keep them flat. Cook for 3 minutes, then flip and cook for 2 more minutes. Take off the heat and brush liberally with the glaze
Serve hot with the warm flatbreads and pickles
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