Partridge and pears of course

Let the festive Yuletide continue…
…and for a special Christmas night dinner…partridge.
Simple, but elegant.  Serve with wild rice, brie and rustic loaf.
Poached pears.  Pomegranate gelato.
Craft a 12-days small plate menu.
Roasted Partridge

3 lbs. dressed game birds, such as partridge
Flour, salt and pepper
2 cloves garlic, peeled, halved
1/4 c. butter
1 c. dry sherry, white wine or chicken broth
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. Dijon style mustard
2 tsp. red currant jelly
Salt and white pepper to taste
Wash and dry the birds. Rub with flour and sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Heat garlic cloves in butter until they sizzle. Add the birds and brown on all sides. Brown necks and giblets too, if you have them. Put into deep casserole along with giblets and garlic cloves. Pour butter over birds. Pour sherry, wine or broth around birds.
Roast, uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to 1 hour until juices run clear when birds are pierced with a fork. If birds look like they will get too dry, baste and cover with casserole lid or foil.
Remove birds onto platter. Strain juices. Bring to a boil. Stir cornstarch with water and add to juices; cook until thickened. Season with mustard and jelly. Add salt and pepper to taste.  Use the sauce as glaze.
Poached Pears
8 pears with stems intact
1 lemon, halved
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1 1/4 cups sugar
the zest of 2 navel oranges removed with a vegetable peeler
two 3-inch cinnamon sticks
1/3 cup orange-flavored liqueur
Peel the pears, leaving the stems intact and dropping the pears as they are peeled into a bowl of cold water acidulated with the juice of the lemon. In a saucepan combine the wine, 2 cups water, the sugar, the zest, the cinnamon sticks, and the liqueur, bring the liquid to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved, and simmer the syrup for 5 minutes. Arrange the pears, drained, on their sides in a baking dish just large enough to hold them in one layer and pour the syrup over them. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake the pears in the middle of a preheated 375°F. oven for 30 minutes.
Pomegranate Gelato
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups bottled pomegranate juice
1/3 cup pomegranate liqueur such as PAMA
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
*Special equipment: an ice cream maker
Whisk together cream, milk, sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a 2 1/2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking occasionally, then boil, whisking, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in remaining ingredients. Transfer to a bowl and chill, uncovered, until cold, at least 1 hour. Freeze in ice cream maker, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 2 hours. Soften gelato slightly in refrigerator, about 20 minutes, before serving.

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