Quick and Quiffed Roast Quail with dried fruit
Q was once a little quail
Have a look at the image at the bottom of this post – they really do have a quiff!
In order to ‘manage your expectations’ I should explain that this recipe for roast quail is only truly ‘quick’ the second time around. It’s a bit fiddly to begin with, but once you get the hang of it, by about quail number six, it doesn’t take long.
I first tried this recipe at the house of some neighbours where the wife had cooked her husband (a classical architect) a wholly Roman meal for a special birthday. Cooking roast quail for numbers must have taken the patience of a saint! This is another reason why it is important to get the butcher to bone these birds for you.
For a bit of extra razz-mattazz you could soak the dried fruit in brandy, rum or whisky before using.
Allow two quail per person. Serve with basmati where you have fried a peeled, chopped banana shallot with the rice right at the beginning of the process. But it also goes well with broccoli and Pink Fir Apple potatoes.
Recipe for roast quail with dried fruit stuffing
Serves – 6
- 12 boned quail (some butchers can order them in with just the drumstick bones remaining. Do NOT attempt to bone them yourself)
- 6 prunes
- 6 dried apricots
- 150g/6 oz chopped pancetta
- 24 slices of smoked, streaky bacon
- 1 tbsp thyme – fresh or dried
- 12 toothpicks to secure
- Preheat the oven to 210ºC.
- Fry the pancetta with a little olive oil, taking care not to let it crisp or get too hard.
- Chop the prunes and apricots and mix in with the fried pancetta.
- Divide into twelve and stuff each quail with the pancetta-fig mix, binding each bird together with the bacon.
- Brown in the frying pan on all sides.
- Move to a roasting tin and finish in the oven for about eight minutes, prodding with a sharp knife to check each is cooked through.