Monday, 9 April 2012
An Easter Tale of Quail
So here we are back with Mmm Monday after a long weekend filled with turkey, duck and quail! That's right. A Trio of bird. Quail is one of my favourite birds to eat. I buy them frozen at my Asian supermarket. Six birds sell for about 10 bucks. So I made a pseudo Easter dinner for an 'orphan' group of friends. Dinner consisted of brined quail seared and oven roasted, drizzled with cranberry reduction (good old traditionally canned stuff for fun, reduced with chicken stock and flavourings) on top of mushroom mashed potatoes served with coconut oil fried (boiled first) cassava and pan fried chunk vegetables.
Quail is a delicate bird that comes in many species and is in the same family as the pheasant, despite the variance in size. These omnivores live off insects in wooded areas around the world. Different species have different appearances depending on how they have adapted to their environment. Quail can be cooked in a variety of methods. Oven basting, pan frying, braising, roasting, etc etc. My method of choice was a quick sear in the fry pan til golden brown, and a finish in the oven at 400 F for about 20 min. It is easy to over cook this little guy so watch your time and temp, adjust as always if needed. Quail will dry out quite easily as this bird doesn't have a tonne of fat. I recommend cooking with the skin on to preserve moisture. They don't sit nicely in the pan like a chicken breast so constantly toss them around until all sides are browned.
The other slightly obscure part of the meal is cassava, otherwise known as Yucca. This root vegetable is similar to potato, but uniquely different. Found in Central and South America, Southern USA and the Caribbean this root is often used in stews or soups. It takes on the flavour of what you cook it in. So I boiled it in my very flavourful chicken stock, cooled it until ready for a quick fry in coconut oil for service (a very healthy oil of choice with fantastic flavour).
Thanks for reading about our Easter Weekend and look out for next Mmm Monday with another local dining review. It's kinda flip floppy I suppose on Monday's, but should keep it interesting! I will leave you with a hangover pic, wrapped in a blanket on the way to the store for snacks with Freckles. Every good Easter dinner is accompanied by good Easter wine after all. Jennifer's up tomorrow with our food truck update. We are getting tight for time and finally begin renovations this weekend!
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