Monday, May 22, 2006
There have been a lot of first for me this week. One of them was the hollandaise sauce, the other was my future post about a mustard chicken I made yesterday and the other was quail.
I got some quail at Christmas time and figured I should get them used up. Knowing The Frog's preference for savoury over sweet it left out a few recipes I did have for quail but, now that I had taken home a sage plant two months ago, I had what I needed for one I had looked at before: Grilled Quails. It's not fussy and pretty straight-forward. I was terrified of overcooking those teeny little things but a hovering Frog ensured "not yet... not golden enough... too grey... " Well... the pictures I took just didn't want to turn out well but the food itself was good both straight out of the over and as a midnight snack later (to which Frog will attest).
This leads me to my new favourite word of the week... "SPATCHCOCK"! I've done it now twice and let me tell you something... it's much easier to split a quail for roast than it is to split a chicken. Mu-u-u-u-u-u-ch easier. Snip snip and you have little spreadeagled quail bodies everywhere.
Here's the recipe:
4 quails [or 6 in my case.. they were very small]
2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp olive oil
8 small sage leaves [I only had 6 large]
2 garlic cloves [3 for my 6 birds]
1 small red chili; seeded and roughly chopped
2 tbsp chopped parsley [forgot this, dang it, but it was still good]
Split each quail through the breast bone with a sharp knife and then turn over. Press open hard with the heel of your hand to form a spatchcock. Transfer the quails to a shallow dish large enough to hold all the birds side by side.
Mix together the lemon, olive oil, sage leaves, garlic and chili and season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour over the quails and leave to marinate for 30 minutes, turning birds over after 15 minutes. Preheat the grill (broiler)
Place the quails, skin side up, on a grill tray. Position them 12-15 cm (5-6 inches) below the heat and grill (broil) for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden and cooked through.
Serve hot or cold, with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and lemon wedges.
I served it with pasta and zucchini broiled with the quails. The zucchini were topped with breadcrumbs, butter and asiago cheese. Very Yum.
this recipe comes from one of my new favourite cook books: the food of italy: a journey for food lovers