Quail and Duck with Radicchio, Mache, and Green Peppercorn Sauce
A golden brown quail and pinwheel of pink duck breast meat top a bed of green mache and red radicchio. Green peppercorn sauce, based on veal demi-glace, laces the dish together. The recipe for veal demi-glace follows below, and it is worth making a batch and stashing it in the freezer.
- Peppercorn Sauce
- Green Peppercorns - 3 tablespoons
- Shallot - 1 teaspoon, diced
- Brandy - 1 tablespoon
- Dry white wine - 1/2 cup
- Veal Demi-Glace - 4 cups
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons, at room temperature (optional)
- Duck and Quail
- Duck Breasts - 2 whole, about 1/2 pound each
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Quails - 4 small, about 3 ounces each
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Mache (Lamb’s Lettuce) - 1 head, pulled apart and cleaned
- Radicchio - 1 head, pulled apart and cleaned
- Veal Demi-glace (Makes about 8 cups)
- Veal Bones - 20 pounds, browned
- Onions - 3 medium, cubed or sliced
- Carrots - 2 medium, sliced
- Leek - 1, diced
- Celery Stalks - 3, cubed
- Tomato paste - 8 ounces
- Dry white wine - 2 cups
To prepare the sauce: Combine the peppercorns, shallot, brandy, and wine in a saucepan and simmer until reduced to 1 teaspoon of liquid. Add the demi-glace and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.
To prepare the ducks and quails: Preheat the oven to 500 F. or its highest setting. Season the duck breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat an ovenproof saute pan to very hot over high heat. Place the duck breasts in the pan, skin-side down, and briefly sear. Place in the oven for 1 minute. Remove and drain off the fat. Return the pan to the oven for 2 to 3 minutes, until the skin is browned. Turn the breasts and cook another 2 to 3 minutes for medium-rare, or longer if desired. Remove breasts from oven and let rest 1 to 2 minutes before slicing.
In another ovenproof saute pan, saute the quail in olive oil until browned on all sides. Place in the oven for about 4 minutes, turning once during that time. Remove from the oven and let rest 1 minute.
To serve: Make a bed of mache and radicchio on each serving plate. Place a quail on each plate. Slice the duck breasts on the bias with an electric knife. Arrange one fourth of the duck in a pinwheel on each plate, surrounding the quail. Spoon green peppercorn sauce over the duck.
Place all ingredients in a 10-gallon stock pot. Fill the pot with water, covering the ingredients, and bring to a boil. Skim off any foam which rises to the surface. Partially cover the pot and reduce heat until the liquid is simmering. Simmer 18 hours, skimming constantly in the beginning, then skimming occasionally for the remaining cooking time. Strain and, if necessary, reduce the stock again until thick enough to coat a spoon. Demi-glace may be kept in the freezer indefinitely.