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Recipe for In perdice
(Boiled Partridge)

By Apicius VI-III-218

A recipe for the main course

Original recipe: Aliter in struthione elixo: piper, ligusticum, thymum aut satureiam, mel, sinape, acetum, liquamen et oleum. Perdicem cum pluma sua elixabis et madefactam depilabis. occisa perdix potest ex iure coqui, ne indurescat; si dierum fuerit, elixa coqui debet.

Translation: Pepper, lovage, celery seed, mint, myrtle berries, also raisins, honey, wine, vinegar, broth, and oil. Use it cold The partridge is scalded with its feathers, and while wet the feathers are taken off; the hair singed it is then cooked in its own juice braised and when done will not be hard if care is taken to baste it. Should it remain hard if it is old you must continue to cook it until it is tender.


  • 1 partridge
  • Pinch of each of the following:
    • pepper,
    • lovage,
    • celery seeds,
    • mint,
    • myrtle berries or raisins
  • Red wine
  • Vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • garum
  • Honey


  • Place the partridge complete with its feathers in a large pot
  • Cover with cold water and simmer gently for about 45 minutes over a low heat.
  • Pluck the bird when cooked but still wet. A freshly killed partridge may be plucked first and then braised in the sauce so that it does not get tough.
  • To make the sauce, pound together the pepper, lovage, celery seeds, mint, myrtle berries or raisins in a mortar, and then mix them with the wine, vinegar, olive oil, garum and honey.
  • This makes a pleasant cold dressing to serve with the cooked partridge.
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