Roasted Stuffed Quail
(Adapted from the recipe on the back of Nature’s Rancher Texas Quail)
8 whole quail (defrosted or fresh)
Salt and pepper
2 cups stale bread, cubed
½ cup half and half cream
4 tablespoons sweet butter
1/2 large Vidalia sweet onion, chopped
2 medium-sized shallots, chopped
½ cup finely chopped fresh fennel
½ pound Cremini or Button mushrooms, chopped
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped or 3/4 Tablespoon dried
1/3 cup dry Vermouth
2 sweet Italian sausages. Remove casing
2 eggs, lightly beaten
8 slices smoked bacon
½ cup dry white wine
Preheat oven to 375⁰ F.
1. Clean exterior and interior of birds. Dry thoroughly and then season with salt and pepper, inside and outside the carcass.
2. In a bowl, combine the bread cubes with the half and half. Stir together. Set aside.
3. In a medium sized skillet, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter.
4. Add chopped onions, shallots, and fennel. Gently sauté until onions soften, around 4-5 minutes.
5. Remove and add to the bowl with the bread mixture.
6. Add two more tablespoons of butter to the skillet over the flame.
7. Add the chopped mushrooms, thyme and dry vermouth. Sauté for 8-10 minutes until the juice from the mushrooms has been absorbed.
8. Add mushrooms to the bowl with the bread mixture and stir thoroughly.
9. Sauté the two sausages making sure you break up the meat into tiny pieces. When fully cooked, discard fat and add pieces to bowl with stuffing.
10. Add the two beaten eggs to the mixture and combine thoroughly.
11. Season with more salt and pepper.
12. Stuff each quail with 1/8 of the mixture, approximately 1/3 cup.
13. Wrap a slice of bacon around each quail to help keep its shape.
14. Place all the quail in a roasting pan lined with foil and sprayed with Pam.
15. Add wine to the bottom of the pan.
16. Baste midway through the roasting time with the wine and any accumulated juices.
17. Put quail in the oven and bake uncovered for approximately 30-40 minutes. At 25 minutes check the interior temperature of one bird. When it reaches 165⁰ F, it is ready.
18. Allow the quail to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Serves: 4 entrée portions (2 quails per person) or 8 appetizer portions.
Wine suggestion: Alsatian Gewürztraminer, Pouilly Fumé, Pinot Noir or a Cru Beaujolais.