This column is a continuing series by Chef Peter X. Kelly of Xaviars Restaurant Group.
YONKERS, N.Y. -- It’s autumn in the Hudson Valley. Very soon the leaves will be changing color and our beautiful area will be awash in a rainbow of Fall colors.
As a chef, I love this time of year because our whole palette of ingredients starts to change. Summer's corn and tomatoes become Fall's squashes and root vegetables. I look for more game birds and slow braise’s to satisfy my guests with.
I find few home cooks utilize quail when preparing a special dinner but I highly recommend trying it. Quail is a tiny bird that has a rich dark meat quality that pairs well with a simple mash potato or polenta side dish. Since quail are small birds, I recommend serving just one as a first course or two quail as a main dish.
The recipe that follows is very simple to prepare; you can even substitute a breast of chicken for the quail. Ask you butcher for boneless quail; it’s well worth the effort.
Quail and other game birds can also be ordered online from www.dartagnon.com.
Grilled Quail with Rosemary & Thyme (Recipe courtesy of Peter X. Kelly, Xaviars Restaurants)
- 8 Boneless Quail (or chicken breast)
- 6 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
- 2 Sprig fresh rosemary
- 4 sprig fresh thyme
- Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
- Season quail with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Combine quail with all marinade ingredients and place in a sealable plastic bag.
- Allow quail to marinate 12 – 48 hours.
- Heat grill or grill pan and cook quail three minutes on breast side.
- Turn quail and cook two minutes more.
- Serve quail with polenta or mashed potatoes.
Note: This recipe may be prepared using boneless chicken breasts.
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