In our latest episode of Back of the House, Ariane and her longtime friend, world-renowned chef, Daniel Boulud are in the kitchen of his eponymous three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Daniel. Quail is on the menu in two impressive yet accessible preparations.
When Ariane founded D’Artagnan in 1985, quail were hard to find and usually ended up only in white-tablecloth restaurants. Thankfully today quail is being prepared in many home kitchens – and rightfully so – whether simply grilled, broiled, sautéed or roasted, the results are equally delicious.
D'Artagnan's quail are the Cortunix-breed, raised in a free-range environment on hearty grain which produces a lean yet succulent, high-protein meat that is sweet and rich. Quail, much like Squab, is an entry-level game bird that is mild yet flavorful and never gamey. These plump little birds work well with all types of seasonings and marinades. At about 5 ounces each, allow one quail per person for an hors d’oeuvre, and at least 2 per person for an entrée. Because they are lean, they need to be cooked quickly over high heat and served medium rare to retain their moisture and flavor.
Ariane is cooking her classic Roasted Gascon Quail with Grapes, Foie Gras and Armagnac (If you've seen our other videos you know Armagnac = flambé = fire = excitement!). Chef Boulud prepares a beautiful dish, Quail stuffed with Fig & Proscuitto.