Food 2008 – Recipes (Roast Quail with Chestnuts and Calvados)

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Sunday, 22nd June 2008 – Recipes (Roast Quail with Chestnuts and Calvados)

We just had dinner… It was damn good though I say it myself!

Roast Quail with Chestnuts and Calvados

Serves: 4
Preparation time: Less than 30 minutes
Cooking time: 30 mins to 1 hour


For the quail:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 dessert pears, peeled, cored and chopped (we didn’t have any so I used apples)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 8 small quail
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 45ml/1½fl oz Calvados
  • 150g/5oz pre-packed chestnuts, plus 4 extra
  • 400ml/14fl oz chicken stock
For the dressing:
  • The juices from cooking the quails
  • 45ml/1½fl oz balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Half a lime, juice only
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 200ml/7fl oz extra virgin olive oil
To serve:
  • 1 large bunch sorrel, thicker stems removed
  • Handful baby chard


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pears and the onion and fry until golden and soft.

3. Season the quail all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stuff the quails with the pear mixture and place into a deep roasting tin.
4. Add the bay leaf, Calvados and four chestnuts and add enough stock to be level with a quarter of the way up the quail.

5. Cover the roasting tin and contents with foil and transfer to the oven to roast for 25 minutes.
6. Remove the foil and cook for ten more minutes, or until the quail are completely cooked through.
7. Remove the quail and place onto a warmed serving dish and keep warm.

8. For the dressing, skim off any fat from the remaining roasting juices and place over a high heat to reduce the liquid by half.
9. Add the remaining chestnuts and continue heating to warm through.
10. Add the balsamic vinegar, honey and lime juice and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

11. Add the olive oil to the pan, stirring gently to emulsify.
12. To serve, divide the sorrel and baby chard and arrange onto four plates. Place two quail on top of the salad and spoon over the warm dressing. We had it with ratatouille, not salad, because Lynne doesn’t like salads.

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