Roast Quail with Apples & Pecans

Yield 4 as an appetizer
RECIPE Ingredients
  • 2 firm tart apples, such as Fuji or Granny Smith
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 cup crumbled corn bread
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 thyme sprigs
  • ½ cup pecans, lightly toasted, half roughly chopped
  • Coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Semi-Boneless Quail, wing tips trimmed, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
  • Mixed greens & balsamic vinaigrette, for serving (optional)
Recipe notes
This roasted quail recipe with cornbread can be enjoyed year-round, with tart apple in the fall, pear in winter, or stone fruit in the summer.
RECIPE Preparation
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Quarter and core the apples. Dice half of them and set aside. Thinly slice the remainder lenghtwise and set aside.
  3. In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrot, celery, shallots, and diced apples and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and add the crumbled cornbread, then add the chicken stock, melted butter, thyme and chopped pecans and toss thouroughly with your hands to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Sprinkle the cavity of each quail with salt and pepper, then stuff a little but of the cornbread mixture inside. Season the outside with salt and pepper and truss with kitchen string.
  5. Heat the oil over high heat in a heavy ovenproof sauté pan just large enough to hold the quail without touching each other. Add the quail and sear, turning occasionally, until golden, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast the quail, for 6 to 9 minutes; the breast meat should still be a rosy color.
  6. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the mixed greens with the remaining apples and pecans and just enough vinaigrette to coat.
  7. Remove the string from the quail. Arrange the salad on serving plates and place the quail alongside. Drizzle with a little more vinaigrette over each quail before serving.