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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quail with Duck Liver & Olives

I love the succulent taste and delicate flavour of quail but for me it has to be partially boned. This simple procedure maximizes the yield and enhances the pleasure. Alain Ducasse served pigeon with duck livers and olives on his show last week so in the absence of pigeon and his recipe which was not revealed this is my version!

Boning: Take some game scissors, they are easier to manoeuvre than a knife. Cut the quail through the backbone from bottom to top and splay the bird flat out. Do not snip off the neck, it must remain intact to help keep the stuffing in place. Cut the neck pre service. Crack the breastbone with your hands then put your fingers under the ribs and very gently remove them on both sides. Slip your fingers down and around the breastbone and remove that too but take care not to split the skin. Remove any other obvious bones carefully using a small knife or just pull them out by hand. The wings and legs must remain as they are. Carefully wash the quail and pat dry.

Preheat oven to 180°C Serves: 4


4 large quail
250g duck livers
2 small French onions finely chopped
2 tablespoons parsley chopped
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons mixed (stoned) olives
2 teaspoons brandy
A little butter and oil for browning


Process the above expect the quail using the pulse button on a food processor. Do not overwork. Divide mixture equally between four quail and sew up with kitchen twine. Place in fridge to 'set' for no less than 30 minutes.

Brown birds gently in butter and oil, remove and microwave on low for 6 minutes. Place in oven for 5 minutes. Allow to rest briefly before serving.

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