Pan seared quail recipe

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  • Yield: 4 Servings


For the Beginning of the Lentil Stew
  • 1 cup French green lentils Du Puy
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 1 celery stalk, cut in 4 chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, bruised
  • 3 bacon slices, preferably applewood-smoked
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 curry leaves, optional
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Chunk of fresh ginger the size of a small walnut
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 small sprig of fresh thyme
  • 4 cups (1 quart) Light Chicken Stock
For the Apples
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cognac
  • ¼ medium orange peel (in 1 or 2 pieces)
  • 2 Honey Crisp apples, peeled and scooped into approximately 10 balls each with a melon baller
For the Rest of the Stew
  • 1 bacon slice, preferably applewood-smoked, chopped fine
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 3 heaping tablespoons fresh huckleberries, blackberries, or blueberries
  • Kosher salt and ground white pepper
How to Make It
    To Begin the Lentil Stew
  1. Combine the lentils in a medium saucepan with the remaining stew ingredients. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat as needed to maintain a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender, 20–25 minutes.
  2. Strain the lentils and cooking liquid into a bowl, removing and discarding the pieces of onion, celery, garlic, bacon, herbs, and spices. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
  3. To Prepare the Apples
  4. Make an ice bath.
  5. Stand a quart zipper-lock plastic bag up in a small high-sided bowl.
  6. Combine the oil, butter, sugar, lemon juice, cognac, and orange peel in a small saucepan. Warm over medium heat. Once the mixture comes to a simmer, cook it for 1 minute.
  7. Stir in the apples and cook for 2–3 more minutes, until the apple balls have softened slightly.
  8. our the apples and liquid into the plastic bag and zip shut. Place the closed bag in the ice bath and let cool until needed.
  9. To Continue the Stew
  10. Remove the lentil stew from the refrigerator and finish the preparation.
  11. Fry the chopped bacon in a medium saucepan until almost brown and crisp.
  12. Add the shallot and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  13. Add the lentils, their cooking liquid, and the berries. Bring to a quick simmer and cook for about 3 minutes, just until the berries soften slightly. Season with salt and pepper.
  14. To Cook the Quail
  15. Season the quail with salt and pepper.
  16. Pour a good ¼ inch of oil into a large skillet and warm over medium heat.
  17. Sauté the quail about 4 minutes per side, or until golden brown all over. The breast meat should still be somewhat rosy with the legs cooked through.
  18. Drain. Carve each quail into four pieces, first down through the breastbone and backbone to halve, and then between the wing and leg to quarter.
  19. Putting it all Together
  20. Spoon a mound of the lentil stew in the center of each of 4 plates. Place 4 quail parts leaning against each other over the lentils. Divide the apple balls among the plates. Garnish with herbs and serve.

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