Martin Wishart's quail recipe is a wonderful starter for a dinner party or family feast. Piping herb butter beneath the skin is a slightly fiddly job but worth the effort as it ensures richly-flavoured and tender meat, crispy skin and impressed guests.
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Set the oven to 200°C/Gas mark 6. Mix the tarragon, parsley and garlic with the butter, then mix in the breadcrumbs and add a pinch of salt
4 sprigs of fresh tarragon
3 tbsp of parsley
1/2 garlic clove
75g of unsalted butter
40g of breadcrumbs
Transfer the butter into a clean piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle
Carefully remove the wishbones from each quail
4 large quail
From the neck, open a small gap between the meat and skin next to the breast and pipe in a generous amount of the herb butter, smoothing it under the skin until it’s evenly spread across the breast. Take care not to puncture the skin
Season the inside of each bird with a little salt and place a sprig of thyme inside, then roast them in the oven for 8-10 minutes
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
Allow the quail to rest for 5-6 minutes before serving whole at the dinner table
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