Sunday, February 26, 2006

"You have to start this well before you want to eat"

284. Flattened, Marinated Quail (One & Two)

"You have to start this well before you want to eat."

This simple sentence has scared me out of making this recipe. When I made the lacquered quail, I saved a couple, and froze them in anticipation of making the flattened, marinated quail sometime in the not-too-distant future. That was 8 months and 15 days ago. I like quail, and I like all the flavourings in this recipe, but each time I'd flick the book open, I'd see that little sentence, and I'd suddenly be filled with a great sense of apathy. Then I'd move on to a different recipe. Until today.

Last night I finally got around to defrosting the little quails, and I marinated them today. In this recipe, they are flattened out (after cutting out the backbone with a pair of scissors), and rubbed in an oil-rosemary-garlic-bayleaf mixture. At this point, they're supposed to sit for at least 6 hours. But I have to admit, the shadow of apathy was still hanging overhead, and I only got around to marinating them in the late afternoon. They had an hour marinading at room temperature. But they turned out fine nonetheless.


Then you fry them in a cast-iron pan until brown and cooked through. The accompanying sauce is made by deglazing the pan with red wine and meat stock.

Following Nigella's comment that "This is picnic food", to be eaten with the fingers, I served it with salad, and some fab pumpkin and onion sourdough that my dad bought this morning.


Delightful. I love quail. The flavourful crisp skin and the juicily tender flesh beneath is just wonderful. And they're so quick to cook and eat that you forget all about that effortful far-in-advance preparation. Almost.


domesticgoddess said...

looks very good and simple. that jus sounds delicious, too. and i know this sounds weird, but isn't it really satisfying to cut through bone? lol.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah
I hope you can help. I'm looking for a 'lasagne alternative' recipe by Nigella but I can't remember what book it's in. I recall her intro to the dish said that lasagne was only good with fresh pasta, and she didn't have time, so she created a concoction which she thinks tastes better.
Any ideas?
Love your blog.

Sarah said...

Hi Rachel,


Hmm... off the top of my head, I would say that recipe is the crepes canneloni from Kiddiefeast in Feast, or the Rigatoni Al Forno, in the Partytime chapter of Feast.

I hope that's what you were looking for! Let me know how it turns out if you choose to make it.

xox Sarah