Anyone who has eaten with me here at Round Pond can attest to my love of surprises. Quails are a perfect way to package that surprise. This dish is a fresh way to enjoy the bounty of spring while sipping on our newest release of our 2010 Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon.
6 Quail, semi boneless (or 3 Squab)
3 Tuscan sausage
3 oz Morel mushrooms fresh (or 1 to 2 oz dried)
4 oz baby arugula
2 oz red wine
6 oz chicken stock
1 tsp fresh Thyme leaves, chopped
¼ cup Italian Parsley, leaves only
Round Pond Extra Virgin Spanish Olive Oil, as needed
salt and pepper, as needed
butcher’s twine, as needed
Preheat oven to 400F. Rinse and Dry quail with paper towels. Remove sausage meat from casing. Stuff half of each sausage into each quail. Shape into uniform package and fold wings under back and cross legs. Using butchers twine tie as needed to keep shape. Rub lightly with oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
In an ovenproof skillet large enough to accommodate all birds, over medium heat, heat 2 Tbsp Round Pond Extra Virgin Spanish Olive Oil. Place in Quails back down and place skillet into oven. Roast on upper shelf for approx 15 to 20 min. or until internal temp reads 145F. Remove and allow to rest in a warm place.
Remove excess oil from skillet. Heat over med flame, the add mushrooms and sauté lightly for 1 to 2 minutes or until nicely browned, season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile in a medium bowl, toss Arugula with 1Tbsp Round Pond Extra Virgin Spanish Olive Oil, thyme and parsley leaves, and a pinch of salt and pepper. When morels are cooked, deglaze the pan with the red wine and reduce to almost dry (sec). Then add stock and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to reduce and intensify flavors while scraping the burned bits or fond from the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.
Assemble: Onto each pre-warmed plate, place a small handful of the Arugula-herb salad, top with one quail; then spoon over an equal portion of mushrooms and sauce. Serve immediately.
Recipe by Round Pond Estate Winery Chef Eric Maczko