Roast Quail in Beet, Apricot & Tomato Chutney

Yield 4
RECIPE Ingredients
  • 2 medium yellow beets
  • 12 dried apricots
  • ½ cup mint leaves, packed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 4 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon saffron
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 1 hot green chile pepper, such as serrano, split and seeded
  • 8 plum tomatoes, blanched and peeled, if desired, seeded and chopped
  • 2 juice of oranges, freshly squeezed
  • sea salt or kosher salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil, plus additional
  • 2 red apples, such as Rome, peeled, cored and quartered
  • 8 Whole Quails
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
Recipe notes
In this quail recipe, Chef Daniel Boulud pairs the plump birds with a colorful beet-and-apricot chutney fragrant with Indian spices.
RECIPE Preparation
  1. Put a rack in the lower third of the oven and Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Wash the beets and wrap in aluminum foil. Place in a baking pan and roast until they are easily pierced with a paring knife, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove the beets from the oven. When they are cool enough to handle, peel and cut them into 1/2-inch cubes.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 1 cup of water to a boil. Add the apricots and mint leaves, remove the pan from the heat, and let cool to room temperature. Puree mixture in blender or food processor.
  3. Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. In a large roasting pan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the onions, gingerroot, garam masala, coriander seeds, turmeric, saffron, star anise, and chile pepper and sweat until the onions are lightly colored, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, toss, and cook 4 minutes more. Pour the orange juice and apricot purée into the pan, and stir to combine. Add the diced beets, bring to a simmer, and season to taste with salt. Bake for 60 minutes.
  4. While the sauce is cooking, in a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining1 tablespoon of butter. Add the apples and cook until golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. When the apples are cool enough to handle, stuff each quail with an apple piece, and run a skewer through both legs, just below the knee, fitting two quails to a skewer. Alternatively, you can skip the skewers; if a piece of apple pops out of a quail cavity, simply pop it back in.
  5. In a large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat warm the vegetable oil. Season the quail with salt and pepper and press the mustard seeds evenly all over each quail. Add 4 quails to the pan and sear on all sides until golden brown, about 7 to 8 minutes. Repeat with the remaining 4 quails, adding more oil to the pan if needed.
  6. Put the quails, skin-side down, over the tomato-beet chutney, pressing them into the mixture. Return the pan to the oven and braise, uncovered, for 60 minutes. Serve with the salad.