Marinated quail with raisins and pine nuts
- September 2015
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 30 min, plus marinating
Italian cookery expert Sophie Bainbridge shares her recipe for this sweet and sticky quail dish.
- 19.6g (2.8g saturated)
- 20.4g (19.4g sugars)
- 4 quails (from butchers or larger supermarkets – see tips)
- 200ml good quality balsamic vinegar (see tips)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large red onion, finely sliced
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 50g pine nuts, lightly toasted for 2-3 minutes in a dry frying pan
- 30g raisins or currants
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs, chopped, plus extra to garnish
- 100ml red wine or water
- Using kitchen scissors, cut out and discard the backbones from the quails. Open them out slightly, put skin-side up on a chopping board and press down with the palm of your hand to flatten the birds. Put in a glass or ceramic bowl with the vinegar, stir to coat, then cover with cling film and leave to marinate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
- Heat the grill to medium-high. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a low-medium heat, then fry the red onion until soft and translucent (about 7 minutes). Remove the quails from the vinegar (reserve it for the sauce). Add the garlic, toasted pine nuts, raisins/ currants and chopped rosemary to the onions.
- Cook for a few minutes more, then add the reserved vinegar and the wine. Bring to a gentle simmer, then cook for about 10 minutes until the flavours in the sauce are infused and the volume has reduced a little. Season well with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, put the quails on a large rack over a roasting tray. Cook under the grill for 5-10 minutes on each side, depending on whether you like your quail pink or well done. Put on a serving dish or plate. Stir the juices left in the roasting tray from the quails into the onion sauce, bring to a boil, then pour over the quails. This is delicious served with gnocchi, pumpkin mash or polenta.
You can ask your butcher to remove the backbone and flatten the quails if you like, but it’s easy to do at home with good kitchen scissors. Quality balsamic vinegar gives the right flavour balance (we like Belazu)
Make to the end of step 3 up to 6 hours in advance.
Rate & review