Roast Quail with Apples & Pecans
Frank Stitt chef bio | Yield: 4 as an appetizer
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.
- 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)
- ot vegetables and topped with crispy bits of country ham.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Quarter and core the apples. Dice half of them and set aside. Thinly slice the remainder lenghtwise and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the mixed greens with the remaining apples and pecans and just enough vinaigrette to coat.
- 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.