Quail Stuffed with Risotto
Plump quail filled with sausage-risotto stuffing are roasted to a deep, rich brown color and sauced with a stock reduction. They are served with glazed carrots and caramelized pearl onions.
- Risotto Stuffing
- Arborio rice - 1/2 cup
- Water - 4 cups
- Reduced Chicken Stock - 2 cups
- Italian sausage - 1 pound, ground
- Onion - 1/2 cup, diced
- Carrot - 1/2 cup, diced
- Celery - 1/2 cup, diced
- Garlic Cloves - 1 teaspoon, minced
- Dry white wine - 1 cup
- Egg - 1
- Romano cheese - 1/4 cup, freshly grated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Quail - 12
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Olive Oil - 1/4 cup olive oil + 1 tablespoon
- Pearl Onions - 48, blanched, skins removed
- Sugar - 2 teaspoons
- Balsamic Vinegar - 2 tablespoons
- Chicken Stock - 3 cups
- Pork Stock - 1 cup
- Unsalted Butter - 3 tablespoons
- Baby Carrots - 24, tops trimmed to 4 inches, blanched
- Loaf Crusty Bread - 1 small, sliced diagonally and toasted
To prepare the stuffing: Put the rice, water, and chicken stock in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 minutes, until the rice is soft. Drain any excess water.
In a medium saute pan, saute the sausage over medium-high heat until it has rendered its fat and there is no trace of pink, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and saute until the vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and stir up the glaze from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until almost all liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Toss the rice, sausage mixture, egg, and cheese to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread out the rice so that it can cool quickly, and allow to cool.
To prepare the quail: Preheat the oven to 375 F. Season the inside of the quail with salt and pepper. Form the risotto stuffing into balls about the size of a baseball and stuff each quail with a ball of risotto, then fold the skin over to encase the stuffing. Push a leg through the skin on each side, crossing the legs. Sprinkle pepper over the quail.
Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large ovenproof saute pan or skillet and add half the quail, searing on all sides until deeply browned. Remove the quail and set aside on a plate. Repeat with the remaining quail. Put all the quail into the pan and roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until done to taste.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saute pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Put the onions in the pan and saute until browned on all sides, shaking the pan occasionally to move the onions around. After 2 minutes sprinkle the sugar over the onions and shake the pan to distribute. Cook another minute to caramelize the sugar. Add the vinegar and toss the onions to coat. Reduce heat to medium and cook about 3 more minutes, until the vinegar has been absorbed. Set aside; keep warm.
Combine the chicken and pork stocks in a small pan and boil until reduced by two thirds in volume.
Melt the 3 tablespoons of butter in a large saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the carrots and cook for 3 minutes, turning the carrots occasionally to glaze. Remove from heat.
To serve: Place a slice of toasted bread to one side on each plate. Put two quail on each plate and spoon a little pan juice over each. Mound caramelized onions opposite the bread, and arrange glazed carrots between the bread and the onions. Spoon the reduced stock over and around the quail.