Monday, June 30, 2014

Quail stuffed with Couscous and served with Eggplant parmiggiana

 

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I found a pack of 6 quails in the Portuguese market the other day and couldn’t resist taking it home with me. I love quail and it’s quite hard to find organic, run free and halal quails anywhere nowadays, so when I saw these beauties I just had to have them.

The best way to cook (and eat) quail in my opinion is stuffed and roasted with white wine and butter, lots of butter.

It might seem frightening to cook something so sophisticated but in fact it’s pretty simple. Don’t be scared to try something new and once you get it right (if not the first time) you will have a great recipe to show off your skills at a dinner party.

This is one of those recipes without measurements, so feel free to adjust everything to your tasting.

Quail

Ingredients:

6 quails

about 100g of soft butter, I used unsalted.

fresh thyme and rosemary

about 1 glass of white wine (whichever wine you prefer, but not very sweet)

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Start by cleaning the quails well, outside and inside with water, and then patting them dry with a paper towel, to make sure the skin gets crispy and brown.

Let them sit on paper towel until completely dry.

Meanwhile, remove one stick of butter from the fridge, chop some rosemary and pick some thyme leaves. Set aside.

Once they are dry, twist their wings so they rest their “head” on their “hands”, just like they were lying on the beach, sunbathing. (see pictures below)

Make the couscous.

Stuff each one, individually and generously with the couscous. (see pictures below)

Wrap their legs with cooking twine to make sure the couscous will not fall off.

Rub each one with lots of soft butter, leaving some chunks of butter on top. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.

Arrange them in a baking pan, one close to the other.

Sprinkle some herb mix (rosemary and thyme) on top. Pour some white wine in the pan and cook them at 350 F until golden brown and crispy.

Open the oven every 15 minutes and pour some of the wine on top of the quails, basting them in the liquid.

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Couscous:

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 cup of couscous

1/2 cup white wine (dry)

1 1/2 cups chicken broth

olive oil

salt and pepper

thyme and rosemary

parsley

Fry the onion in olive oil until trans lucid. Add the garlic, thyme and rosemary.

Add the couscous. stir well and season it with salt and pepper.

Add the wine and stir well. Add the chicken stock, hot. Turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Leave it covered for 5 minutes. It’s ready. Fluff it with a fork.

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Eggplant parmiggiana:

1 or 2 eggplants

1 can/ jar of organic tomato sauce

2 bay leaves

oilve oil

salt and pepper

mozzarella cheese

parmesan cheese

Slice the eggplant thinly. Fry each slice in olive oil until soft.

Coat the bottom of a pan with tomato sauce and season it with salt, pepper and bay leaves. Start building layers of eggplant and tomato sauce until you use all the eggplant. Top it with the tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan and bake at 350 F until it boils and the mozzarella starts to brown.

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