Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pan Roasted Quail Wrapped in Proscuitto

quail wrapped in proscuitto

During the 4th of July weekend, my husband and I visited the Stroot's condo in Baja. Michel Stroot is a famous chef of the Golden Door Spa in Escondido, California. He is now retired, but once a chef, always a chef. He specializes in healthy yet flavorful food. While we were in Baja, he bought these quail to make a pan fried quail recipe. Although we didn't stay long enough to taste his creation, my parents told us it was incredibly delicious. The recipe below is quite delicious, too, and amazingly easy to make.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4)

  • 8 semi-boned fresh quail (preferably local ones from your farmer's market)
  • 8 thin slices proscuitto or Serrano ham
  • 16 sage leaves (fresh)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • salt pepper
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine (choose a good one!)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place a sage leaf inside each quail and season the inside with salt and pepper.

the little quails from Baja

Lay another sage leaf on the breast of each quail and then wrap each bird neatly with the slice of prosciutto or Serrano ham, and season with a little black pepper but no salt. The prosciutto is already salty. The seam of the prosciutto should be at the bottom.

Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil and and two tablespoons of butter in a frying pan, just large enough to hold the 8 quail. When the oil is sizzling put the birds in breast side down and sear them for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn over and brown the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the birds from the pan and put them in an oven-proof dish put them into a 350 degree oven for about 6 to 8 minutes.

In the meantime pour all but 1 tablespoon of the oil and butter remaining in the fry pan, keeping any brown bits sticking to the bottom of the pan. Turn the flame to high heat and carefully add the white wine and marsala and reduce by a half, scraping the bottom of the pan. Turn off the heat and swirl in 1 tablespoon of cold butter, until it melts and thickens making for a richer, silkier sauce. Check sauce for seasoning.

After the quail have been taken from the oven, allow them to rest in a warm place for another 5 minutes and pour any further pan juices from the quail into the sauce. Serve the quail over some wilted spinach and spoon around some of the sauce. Magnifico!

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