Quail “Roger Savarin” in Port Wine Sauce
Marinated quail, cooked to golden brown, are treated to a sauce of port wine and ruby cabernet. Colorful baby turnips — the purple skin is left on their tops – are an unexpected and tasty accompaniment.
- Quail and Sauce
- Quail - 8 (2 per person)
- Shallots - 2, chopped
- Ruby Port - 4 ounces
- Olive Oil - 4 ounces
- Bay Leaves - 2
- Fresh Thyme - 2 sprigs
- Fresh Rosemary - 1 sprig
- Olive Oil - 1 ounce
- Vinegar - 1/2 cup
- Port Wine - 1/2 cup
- Ruby Cabernet or heavy burgundy - 1/2 cup
- Cold Unsalted butter - 1/2 cup
- Salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- Turnip Garnish
- Baby Turnips - 1 dozen
- Unsalted Butter - 1/4 cup
- Water - 1/2 cup
- Sugar - 1 tablespoon
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
To prepare the quail and sauce: Clean and debone the quail. Place skin-side down in a large dish and add the shallots, ruby port, olive oil, bay leaves, black pepper, thyme, and rosemary. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Heat 1 ounce of olive oil in an ovenproof pan. Lift the quail from the marinade with tongs and place in the hot oil skin-side down; sear on both sides until lightly browned. Place in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Do not overcook; leave the quail slightly pink inside. Remove the quail from the pan and set aside; keep warm. Remove the fat from the pan. Place the pan over medium-high heat and add the vinegar, stirring up the glaze from the bottom of the pan. Add port wine and ruby cabernet, then simmer about 5 minutes to reduce the liquid almost to a thickened glaze (the bubbles will get smaller as the sauce reduces). Strain into a saucepan and reduce for another 2 to 3 minutes, but do not let all the liquid evaporate. Whisk in the butter, a few pieces at a time, until the sauce is smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare the turnips: Peel the bottom halves of the turnips, leaving the tops purple. Leave 1-1/2-inch stems on each. Quarter the turnips if they are too large. Wash and pat dry with a towel. Place the turnips in a saucepan and add the butter, water, and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cover; cook about 10 minutes, until the liquid becomes a glaze.
To serve: Place a quail on each warmed plate. Garnish with turnips. Spoon sauce over the quail.