Roast Quail with Apples & Pecans

Flavour explosion in your mouth

Ingredients 

  • 2 firm tart apples, such as Fuji or Granny Smith
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 cup crumbled corn bread
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • ½ cup pecans, lightly toasted, half roughly chopped
  • Coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Semi-Boneless Quail, wing tips trimmed, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
  • Mixed greens & balsamic vinaigrette, for serving (optional)
  • ot vegetables and topped with crispy bits of country ham.

Steps

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Quarter and core the apples. Dice half of them and set aside. Thinly slice the remainder lenghtwise and set aside.
  • In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrot, celery, shallots, and diced apples and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add the crumbled cornbread, then add the chicken stock, melted butter, thyme and chopped pecans and toss thouroughly with your hands to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle the cavity of each quail with salt and pepper, then stuff a little but of the cornbread mixture inside. Season the outside with salt and pepper and truss with kitchen string.
  • Heat the oil over high heat in a heavy ovenproof sauté pan just large enough to hold the quail without touching each other. Add the quail and sear, turning occasionally, until golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the quail, for 6 to 9 minutes; the breast meat should still be a rosy color.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the mixed greens with the remaining apples and pecans and just enough vinaigrette to coat.
  • Remove the string from the quail. Arrange the salad on serving plates and place the quail alongside. Drizzle with a little more vinaigrette over each quail before serving.
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