Sweet and Sour Quail Peruvian Style
An exotic mix of spices, vinegar, red wine, dried fruit, and vegetables makes a dark, tangy marinade and sauce for quail, which are served on a bed of salad and garnished with homemade potato chips. Plan to begin this dish 2 to 3 days before serving. While offered as an appetizer, serving the quail on rice and serving the salad as a side dish could turn it into a main course.
- Coriander seeds - 2 teaspoons
- Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon
- Red Pepper Flakes - 1/2 teaspoon
- Allspice berries - 4
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Onion - 1 whole, peeled and diced
- Carrot - 1 small, peeled and diced
- Garlic Cloves - 2, peeled and chopped
- Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup, packed
- Balsamic Vinegar - 1/2 cup
- Dry Red Wine - 1/2 cup
- Reduced Veal or Beef Stock - 1-1/2 cups
- Dried figs - 8, whole
- Golden raisins - 2 tablespoons
- Dried Apricots - 2 tablespoons, chopped
- Red Bell Pepper - 1, roasted, peeled, seeded, and diced
- Tomato - 1, peeled, seeded, and diced
- Fresh Ginger - 1 to 2 teaspoons, peeled and minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Semi-boneless Quails - 4
- Potato Chips
- Peanut oil for frying
- Red Potatoes - 2, unpeeled, thinly sliced
- Kosher salt and cayenne pepper to taste
- Watercress - 1/2 bunch
- Radicchio - 1/2 cup, shredded
- Haricots Verts - 1/2 cup, julienned, or baby green beans, blanched
- Fresh Parsley Leaves - 1/4 cup
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil - 1/2 cup
- Fresh lemon juice - 1/4 cup
- Kosher salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Freshly ground black pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
- Peanut oil for frying
To prepare the spices: In a medium saute pan or skillet over medium heat, toast the spices, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and begin to smoke, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and grind the spices in a spice grinder, a well-washed coffee grinder, or a mortar with a pestle. Set aside.
To make the sauce: In a medium saute pan or skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic and saute until the mixture begins to brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the brown sugar and stir, allowing the sugar to melt and caramelize. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir; add the red wine and stock. Add the figs, raisins, apricots, bell pepper, and tomato. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook to reduce slightly, then add the toasted spices and ginger and continue to cook to reduce until the liquid is syrupy, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Place the quail in the sauce and, once the sauce returns to a boil, turn the quail to coat with the sauce. Remove from heat and let the quail cool in the pan. Place the quail and the sauce in a shallow, non-aluminum pan. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 3 days.
To make the chips: Pour peanut oil to a depth of 2 inches in a large heavy saute pan or skillet. Heat over medium-high heat to 375 F, or until a submerged crumb of bread immediately rises to the top and begins to sizzle. Fry the potato slices in batches until golden brown and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels, and season with salt and cayenne.
To make the salad: Toss the greens and vegetables with the olive oil and lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pour peanut oil to a depth of 1/2 inch in a medium, heavy saute pan or skillet. Heat over medium-high heat. Remove the quail from the sauce and scrape off any dried fruit. Pan-fry the quail, turning once, until crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the quail to a warm platter. Pour the sauce into a small pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. If the sauce is too thin, cook to reduce slightly; if too thick, thin with a little hot water.
To serve: Divide the greens among the serving plates and place off-center on each plate. Place one quail to one side of the salad and spoon some of the sauce around the quail. Top the salad with a few potato chips.