Go Greek this summer with Chef Culinary Instructor Ben Kiely’s seasoned stuffed quail. Starting with a mixed bowl of pickled beets, basil and olive oil, you’ll be creating a summery apple salad, the perfect bedding for your fig stuffed quail.
Place the beets in a saucepan, cover with water, add sherry wine vinegar and salt (½ teaspoon). Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until tender for about 30 to 45 minutes.
Remove from the heat, add the garlic to the pot and set aside to cool. Remove the beets from the pot and without draining slip off the skins and cut in wedges.
Add sugar. When the sugar has dissolved in the vinegar, stir in cooking liquid from the beets (¼ cup).
Toss liquid with the beets and garlic.
For the Fig Stuffed Quail:
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Season the quail cavities with salt, pepper and Greek seasoning.
Stuff each quail with a fig.
Season the quail all over with the remaining spice mixture, salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil (2 tablespoons) and add the quail. Cook over high heat for about 4 minutes or until browned.
Transfer the quail to a shallow roasting pan. Roast the quail on the top rack of the oven for 5 minutes.
Transfer the quail and figs to a platter.
Set the roasting pan over moderate heat. Add the wine and simmer, scraping the pan to loosen any browned bits.
Remove the pan from the heat and whisk the butter into the sauce (1 tablespoon at a time).
Transfer the quail to plates and drizzle with the sauce.
For the Apple Salad:
Using a Japanese style mandolin, slice the apple almost to the core. Take a medium sized mixing bowl and add arugula, pickled beets, apples, basil and olive oil.
Place the quail on a bed of apple salad.
Start by removing the neck of the quail with a paring knife followed by the wing tips and wishbone. Next, using the tip of the knife slice a small hole into either side of the wishbone. Remove the knife and place your forefinger onto the wishbone’s side and pull downward towards the cutting board to lightly pull the skin around the neck. Use a knife to then slice the cartilage at the shoulder joint. Push your thumbs down the breast bone and flip over to delicately move skin from the back bone. Set aside the bones, reserving them for stock and place your partially deboned quail on your sheet pan for cooking.
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