Quail Roasted in Polenta


Servings: 6

Ingredients: 12 wild or farm-raised quail or other small game birds, necks remover, 6 to 8 oz. each.
                  2 to 3 tablespoons coriander-fennel rub (see recipe:Coriander-Fennel Rub) or                                 seasoning of choice
                  Polenta (see recipe:Polenta)
                  2 tablespoons olive oil
                  1 large clove garlic, chopped
                  Fresh rosemary or parsley sprigs, for garnish

          Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9 by 9 inch baking dish.
          Season birds with rub. Set aside while you prepare the polenta. Pour polenta into baking
dish.
          In a large skillet, heat oil and garlic over medium-high heat. Add birds; thoroughly brown on
all sides. Remove pan from the heat. Let birds cool until they can be handled without
burning your fingers.
          Arrange quail in a circle by taking each bird and standing it upright in the polenta, breast meat
facing out. Gently push the bird down into the polenta until it can stand by itself. Put the next bird
alongside the first and repeat for the remaining quail.
          Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the juices run a rosy color when a bird is poked with a fork
(do not overcook). Garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary or parsley.

                                   

Coriander-Fennel Rub

Servings: 1/4 cup

Ingredients: 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
                  1 tablespoon coriander seeds
                  1 tablespoon coarse salt
                  1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
          Put fennel and coriander seeds in a small pan over high heat. Toast for 2 to 3 minutes, until
seeds turn a deep golden brown. Put seeds in a food processor fitted with a steel blade; process
until finely ground. Mixture does not have to be perfectly smooth. Combine with salt and peeper.
Store in an airtight jar.

                                   

Polenta

Servings: 6

Ingredients: 4 cups homemade chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
                  Coarse salt
                  1/2 cup cornmeal
                  1/2 cup semolina
                  1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
                  2 tablespoons unsalted butter
          Semolina is a finely ground durum (hard wheat). If you wish, substitute another 1/2 cup of
cornmeal for the semolina.
          Heat stock and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat until almost
boiling. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Combine cornmeal and semolina; slowly stir into hot stock,
stirring constantly with a wire whisk. To avoid lumps, continue stirring until mixture begins to
thicken, 24 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in the cheese and butter. Season with salt, if necessary.
          For quail roasted in polenta, immediately pour polenta into the prepared baking dish.


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