Quails with grapes in cognac sauce
When autumn arrives in France it’s all about forest produce; mushrooms, game meat, chestnuts and grapesa dn of course game meat such as quails.
So, I thought I would celebrate this special time of year with a recipe that uses these seasonal foods. My very autumnal recipe this week is the quails with grapes, where the quails are pan roasted and served with caramelized grapes and a brown cognac sauce.
My simple philosophy is that getting the best results in your kitchen starts with buying products in season. Not only does this deliver tasty results but it’s also kinder on your hip pocket and better for the environment. So when planning your meals start by asking yourself this question, ‘what’s in season at the moment’.There are plenty of regionally specific online guides available to help guide you with the answer to this question.
COOKWARE AND UTENSILS:
butcher strings: https://amzn.to/2N99I1N
saute pan: https://amzn.to/2Pcxwo5
COOKING TIMES AND TEMP:
Oven 200 celsius or 420 F
Brown the quail in the pan first for 20 minutes ( 5 minutes on each side.
Then finish to cook then in the oven for 15 minutes. ( 10 minutes will keep it the flesh “pink” which is meant to be the way to serve quails) 20 minutes will have well done
Quails with grapes ingredients: for 4 people:
4 slice of smoked bacon
salt and pepper
For the garnish
300 grams of white grapes (peeled)
200 grams of forest mushroom I used golden chanterelle (optional)
2 cloves of garlic
a handful of chopped parsley
For the sauce
200 ml of brown chicken stock
50 ml of cognac
1 shallot finely diced.
Tips:try to buy seedless grapes other wise you can remove the seeds by hand in each grape.
Start by making your mise en place ( food preparation):
- Wrap the quail in bacon rashers and truss them with a butcher string.
- Wash and peel the grapes individually
- Prepare 200 ml of brown chicken stock (or use off the shelf stock)
- Dice the shallot finely
Cooking the quail:
- Add a tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoon of oil in a large pot or saute pan and bring to medium heat.
- Start by sauteing the quails on their side for 5 minutes until golden brown.
- After 5 minutes turn the quails on the other side and keep doing so every 5 minutes to have each side of the quails browned. so 5 minutes on each sides for a total of 20 minutes cooking time.
- After 20 minutes put the quail back on their original position ( as seen on the video)and put the pot or pan in a preheated oven at 220 degrees Celsius (420 F) and cook them for further 10 minutes to have them pink or 15 more towards the well done side. (note that quails are best served medium rare (pink)
Making the sauce:
- take the quails out of the pot or pan and reserve them on a tray near the oven to rest. you can cover the quail with foil and keep them warm.
- Remove the excess fat in your pot or pan and put it on the stove on high heat and leave the meat to caramelized for 2 or 3 minutes
- Add the finely sliced shallot and cook for a minute.
- Pour in the cognac ( without doing a flambee) and reduce until almost dry.
- add the grapes in the pan and roll them in the cognac juices and leave to caramelized for a minute or 2 maximum.
- take the grapes out and pour in the brown chicken stock.
- reduce to a quart or until the stock create get ticker and has a spoon coating consistency. ( you can also just add some starch to thicken the sauce immediately)
Serving the quails:
- place one quail per person on a place with 5 or 6 grapes and a garnish of your choice.
- finish by covering the quail with a bit of sauce and you are done.
you can serve quails with saute mushroom pilaf rice or saute potatoes for the wine best is red with some tannin such as a Bourgeuil from the Loire valley.