Roasting or grilling partridge is a relatively easy manner for preparing the meat. Pan-fried partridge with pearl barley and pea stew is a more-elaborate dish.
To roast partridges, sprinkle salt in the cavities. Rub the skin with butter, and season with salt and pepper. Place chopped onion inside each cavity. Wrap each bird with two slices of Parma ham. Roast at 425 F for 30 minutes.
To grill partridges, cut each bird lengthwise. Use a meat mallet to flatten the meat. Toast 2 tablespoons cumin seeds in a dry pan for just a few seconds, and then grind coarsely. Mix with 3 ounces softened butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Run the partridges with the seasoned butter, and grill for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn frequently.
For partridge stew, boil 4 ounces pearl barley for 50 minutes, and then drain. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a pan, and add one chopped red onion. Cook slowly for 10 minutes, and then add cooked barley and 8 ounces frozen peas. Cover with 2 cups chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Simmer 10 minutes.
Mash together 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon flour to create a "beurre manie." Stir half the paste into the stew, and cook. Continue cooking until the stew thickens. Add more paste as necessary.
Season two partridges with salt and pepper, and brown in heated olive oil. Add 4 ounces chopped bacon. Once all meat is cooked through, serve with the barley stew.