Quail is a festive and easy kind of poultry, family of the pheasant that comes in a handy one-person portion.
Have you ever seen quail walking around alive? I once saw a few when I was driving in the Dordogne area. They are a funny kind of bird with a strange walk. Most quail for poultry is domesticated and raised in cages. In France, they are sold without their feathers but otherwise intact with a label indicating it origin. You can judge the quality of the bird by the state of the carcass, and determine the kind and freshness of the quail by its head.
Here I stuffed the bird with a mixture of onion, garlic, bread, parsley and the quail’s liver and heart. You have to cook the stuffing first. Inside the bird the stuffing may not get sufficiently cooked, or you would have to cook the bird very long and then the outside become tough. I browned the quail first because it will not get a colour when cooked in the oven inside a wrap.
I wanted to keep the cabbage leaves green so I folded the quail into aluminium foil. This means you need some more time to cook. If you leave it outside the foil, the cabbage can turn brown.
- Two quail
- Three shallots
- Three cloves of garlic
- Two large leaves of green cabbage
- Some old bread (no crusts)
- Half a bunch of parsley
- Pepper and salt
- Cook the cabbage leaves for five minutes in water to make them tender.
- Prepare the quail – remove the head and innards, put the liver and heart aside.
- Pat the quail dry with kitchen paper.
- Peel and chop the onion and garlic.
- Loosen the bread.
- Chop the parsley.
- Put some butter in a small pan, turn op the heat until it sizzles.
- Add the onion and garlic and stir.
- Add the parsley and the bread.
- Stir until it shrinks in size, and put aside.
- Add pepper and salt to taste.
- Put olive oil in a large pan, turn on the heat until it smokes.
- Add the quail and brown for a few minutes on all sides.
- Let them cool down.
- Preheat an oven to 200 °C.
- Stuff the birds.
- Wrap them into a cabbage leave and tie them tightly.
- Wrap into aluminium foil.
- Put the quail parcels in a dish and into the oven, cook for 30 to 45 minutes depending on the birds.
- Test with a fork towards the end, there should be clear liquid coming out, no red or rosé liquid.
- Remove the aluminium foil and the strings.
- Present in the leaves.
(In the picture I added steamed carrots)