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AMERICA'S BEST

Two Partridges--No Tree

December 20, 1990|KATHIE JENKINS

Fin 'n Feather P.O. Box 487 Smithfield, Va. 23430 (800) 628-2242 Catalogue available Delivery charges included You don't have a pear tree, you've never seen a partridge and the very idea of cooking one is scary.

So skip the pots and pans. The easiest introduction to our more exotic feathered friends is to order them already cooked. To make things even easier, these particular birds come right to your very door.

The Fin 'n Feather, a Virginia firm, has been in the business of slow-smoking game birds for more than 53 years. The company prepares an incredible array of birds, but our favorite is the Rocky Mountain chukar partridge. It is small, but extraordinarily delicious--moist, meaty and tender. (The smoky flavor of the partridge meat is especially satisfying if you are on a restricted diet and have to avoid cured red meats such as ham.)

These partridges are pricey; they're only a little larger than a softball, and will cost you $29 for a pair. (This is, to be fair, about the same price you'll pay for uncooked partridge at your butcher.) Besides, they make a wonderful conversation piece for the holiday table--and are so delicious that despite the extravagance you are likely to find yourself ordering them again.

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