Stuffed Quail Breasts

Quail stuffed with Speck

Quail Breasts Stuffed with Speck

This is really a variation on the chicken mignon theme, just a little more adventurous and flavoursome.

Fabulous canapé or entrée, they look beautiful and the taste is nothing short of a revelation if you are new to quail!  If you want to rate your next barbeque high on the poshometer, you can even barbeque this little delights.

Now that quail is so readily available, why not try it?

800grams free range quail breasts
100 grams very good smoked European speck or pancetta
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons of butter, slightly softened
¼ teaspoon mace
¼ teaspoon ground fennel
1 teaspoon parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
2 anchovies
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup breadcrumbs

For cooking:

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup MarsalaPre-heat oven to 180°C

In a small bowl, combine butter, garlic, fennel, mace, parsley, anchovies, Worcestershire sauce, zest and pepper.  Mix together well to form a thick buttery paste.

Cut your speck into nice fat chunks.  Lay the quail breast on a board skin side down.  Add about ½ teaspoon of the butter mix, then lay the speck piece on top.  Roll the breast over then roll in the breadcrumbs.  There should be enough speck pieces left over to add to the pan as the quail cooks for added flavour.

Once all the quail breasts are stuffed chill them for at least 30 minutes – 1 hour before cooking.  For a dinner party you could even prepare them the night before.

To cook, heat a large oven proof dish with the oil and butter with the extra chunks of pancetta or speck in a hot oven.
Add all the quail, skin side down and cook for only a few minutes. 
Once well browned, and the skin lovely and crispy, turn the quail over and cook the other side.  The quail will cook very quickly, so be vigilant!  

Add the Marsala and flame to burnish the little parcels as you bring them to the table.

Allow the quails to rest for a few minutes before serving.