Quail and marjoram are partnered in this recipe by Mark Dodson. It is a majestic combination and the fragrance of the herb - here used in a jus - bringing out the best in the delicate meat. Pea purée and deep-fried quail's egg round off this springtime recipe with a touch of class.
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Begin by preparing the quails. Carefully remove the breasts, leaving the wing bones attached for presentation. Reserve the legs for the sauce and place the quails breasts in the fridge while you prepare the other elements
Blanch the pancetta for 20-30 seconds in boiling water, then drain and allow to cool. Remove the rind, cut the pancetta into very thin lardons and set aside until ready to serve
100g of pancetta
For the pea purée, add the water, oil, salt and sugar to a pan and bring to the boil. Add the peas and cook for approximately 8 minutes until tender
100g of water
10ml of olive oil
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of sugar
100g of frozen peas
Drain the peas (reserving some of the cooking liquid) and add to a blender with a dash of cream. Blitz until smooth, adding a dash of the cooking liquid to adjust the consistency if necessary. Set aside at room temperature until ready to use
1 dash of double cream
To prepare the marjoram jus, place the shallots, white wine and marjoram in a pan and reduce until almost dry. Add the quail legs and the chicken stock and reduce the liquid by half
15g of shallots, peeled and sliced
30ml of white wine
200ml of chicken stock
4 sprigs of marjoram, large
Add the veal stock and reduce again to a sauce-like consistency. Pass through a fine sieve, season and reserve
100ml of veal stock
Lower the quail eggs into gently boiling water, cook for 2 minutes, then immediately strain and transfer to a bowl of iced water. Once cold, carefully peel the eggs and pat them dry with a cloth
4 quail eggs
Prepare 3 separate bowls of flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs. Carefully roll the eggs in the flour, egg and breadcrumbs to achieve an even coating, then set aside. Preheat the deep-fryer to 180°C
2 eggs, beaten to make an egg wash
1g of breadcrumbs
oil, for deep-frying
Add a dash of oil to a pan and gently pan-fry the quail breasts for 3-4 minutes on each side. Once nearly cooked, add the lardons to the pan and fry until crispy. The quail breasts will be ready when, if pierced by a sharp knife, the juices run clear. Meanwhile, fry the coated quail eggs in the deep-fryer until golden
Gently reheat the pea purée and the marjoram jus. Divide a small amount of pea shoots onto plates, add a decent spoonful of pea purée and the quail breasts. Season with salt and pepper
Sprinkle the lardons on top of the pea shoots, add a drizzle of oil and top the salad with a deep-fried quail egg. Drizzle some jus over each dish, add a sprig of marjoram and serve immediately
4 sprigs of marjoram
1 dash of olive oil
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