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Quail en Escabeche:Another Great Spanish Dish from Boston's Own Jim Becker

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I recently posted another of Jim's great recipes from his past restnt Rauxa, a great Romesco sauce. Here's the recipe for one of my fav dishes- that Jim recently posted on the Boston board:

Jim Becker's Quail en Escabeche

"Season and sear off the quail. Blanch and peel pearl onions, then cook in the following which has been brought to a simmer: a 2 to 1 combo of olive oil and sherry vinegar, with some black peppercorns, bay leaves, lots of peeled garlic, some chopped scallion, thyme sprigs and a couple of cinnamon sticks and a little salt. After adding the onions, throw in some golden raisins, then add the quail. When they are cooked through remove from heat and let quail cool in the liquid.

I served these on top of Le Puy lentils, which I made by sauteeing a brunoise of carrot, onion and celery in olive oil, adding the lentils, a boken cinnamon stick, coating them well and then adding quail stock (use chicken stock), and cooking until tender but firm. Once in a while I would substitute those beautiful black "beluga" lentils.

When I got an order I would warm both in separate pans and lean the quail on the plate agaianst the lentils. I tossed on some quartered kumquats, and spooned the heated "escabeche" sauce over and around."

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  1. That sounds good - I love codorniz (quail), but to eat the lil' fellas with all their bones and small parts, one has to be able to see what one is doing. This recipe would seem to provide for that.

    In a 12" skillet with 6 quail, what would you estimate as the quantity of oil and sherry vinegar, and cooking time? Thanks, oc.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      Hi Veggo,
      Good question. I used to do probably 24 qual at a time, and we chefs never measure anything-that's why we are terrrible at writing recipes down, but I would think that for 6 quail in a 12" skillet you would probably need 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup vinegar. You want them to be covered, although this might even be a a bit too much. Once you have seared them they shouldn't take more than 10 to fifteen minutes to be completely cooked through. Simmer, do not boil. Hope this helps.

      1. re: Pa amb Tomaquet

        To be covered, you splay or spatchcock the birds?I don't like to flatten or compress them much; I run into the little-bone problem. Thanks.