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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Quail in Balsamic Glaze

Drumming a steady tattoo, the rain rots the leaves trapped in the gutters. Brooding clouds lie low, closing in on a world that feels dark. I am weary - so-o-o weary - of it all.

Ahem! (Giggle, giggle!) Gotcha! All of which leads me to this existentialist spoof about Henri the Cat. I hope you will find as much joy in this short YouTube video as I have! I’ve watched it over and over and can never stop grinning at poor, self-absorbed Henri!




In honor of the melancholic Henri - qui est français (sorta) - today’s recipe is very, very French. Dollinks, we are having Quail in Balsamic Glaze! I made this for an Early Fall Dinner Party (blogged Oct. 12, 2012) that also featured Risotto alla Milanese, a Layered Jicama-Mango Salad, and a Classic English Trifle. Ill blog those recipes over the next several days. 

Before the meal, I served two simple-to-make appetizers: Figs Stuffed with Cheese and Nuts (blogged April 16, 2011) and Pesto Crostini (blogged May 4, 2011). The meal was far from perfect: I’ll tell you what went wrong (lots!) tomorrow. So let’s zip along with zest and zeal, ending the series with some Guidelines and Tips for having fun at your own partyReady, Henri ...? This is quail. If you like anything at all, you’ll like quail (I fervently hope). 


Quail in Balsamic Glaze served over a bed of Risotto

This extremely simple recipe is showy and delicious. When our guests found it somewhat awkward to eat (my error as host and cook), we picked it up and ate it with our fingers. I made this recipe for six diners, but because the quail were so small, I didn’t stuff them and served two per-person. If you can’t find white balsamic glaze in your supermarket, specialty food stores have it. It has many uses - even as a topping for ice cream!

Quail in Balsamic Glaze:

12 small quail, unsalted

White balsamic glaze, as needed

Preheat oven to 400 deg. F. Lay quail breast-side up in roasting pan. Drizzle and then brush on white balsamic glaze - a sweeter, thicker product than commercially made balsamic reduction. Bake, uncovered, 30 min. Lower heat to 300 deg. F. Bake, uncovered, 20 min. longer. 

Note: Serve over a bed of rice, risotto, or mashed potatoes to keep quail from sliding around the plate as you chase it with fork and knife! Or do as we did and use your fingers!  


Start with unsalted, naked birds (Happy now, Henri?)

Drizzle with white balsamic glaze
Brush quail evenly with drizzled glaze
Into the oven they go ...
Reduce heat after 30 min.
Remove quail as they crisp up and turn gold
A bird in the hand is better than two on the plate
Dinner guest Iryn tucks in
Guest Joe does battle with the mighty bird - and triumphs!

3 comments:

  1. Nicole, I’m surprised at you! Didn’t you know that quail is always eaten with the fingers? First of all, they fly. Emily Post says if it flies, it can be picked up. But where I really learned about quail is from the movie Gigi. When Gigi was groomed as a courtesan, she had to learn how to eat quail. With the fingers. And the tiny bones are to be chewed down (for roughage, I guess). I’m not sure about the little leg bones, though. Wouldn’t want to take a chance that a shard would pierce one's intestine! Your quails looked lovely! - Lorna

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  2. The movie that came to MY mind was King Rat - Ron

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  3. Ron Fisher, how COULD you??? These quail were DELICIOUS!!! - xox Nicole

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