Sunday, January 13, 2013

Braised Quail with Apricots, Currants, and Tamarind

Quail is expensive. $5 a bird didn't seem too much ... until the butcher mentioned that they only sell quail in packs of 4. I comforted myself by noting that a quail for each of us is still less than what we'd spend for takeout at most places. Also, this was great. Nicely spiced and a good blend of sour and sweet. I think this could also work very nicely using chicken instead. The recipe suggests serving it as a starter, but I think it works as a main with some substantial sides.

One year ago: Red Pine Chicken
Two years ago: Tomato, Pesto, Mozzarella Salad
Three years ago: Barley Risotto with Beans and Greens

Braised Quail with Apricots, Currants, and Tamarind (from Jerusalem)
4 extra-large quail (190g each), cut in half along the breastbone and back
3/4 tsp chile flakes
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/4 cups water
5 tbsp white wine
2/3 cup (80g) dried apricots, thickly sliced
2 1/2 (25g) currants
1 1/2 tbsp superfine sugar
1 1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp thyme leaves
2 tbsp chopped cilantro and parsley for garnish

1. Sprinkle quail with chile flakes, cumin, fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp salt, and black pepper. Massage and cover. Marinate in fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in frying pan that is just large enough to hold quail snugly. Brown on all sides for about 5 minutes.
3. Remove quail from pan and discard most of fat, leaving 1 1/2 tsp. Add water, wine, apricots, currants, sugar, tamarind, lemon juice, thyme, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper. Return quail to pan. Bring water to boil, cover pan and simmer 20 - 25 minutes, turning quail once or twice.
4. Lift quail from pan and onto serving platter and keep warm. Reduce liquid to sauce consistency. Spoon over quail and garnish with herbs.

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