2 hours 45 minutes, plus 4 hours setting and brining
This stunning recipe from Paul Welburn uses a number of creative cooking methods to prepare the quail. Transglutaminase, also known as 'meat glue', is used to fuse the flesh of the quail breasts together to create a neat finish. Both legs and breasts are cooked sous vide to ensure a fantastically tender texture, perfectly paired by rich, earthy ceps and a tasty fried egg.
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To begin, prepare the quails. Remove the quail legs and set aside. Remove the breasts but leave them attached to the skin in one piece – this is tricky but once mastered it makes cooking easier later in the recipe
Add all of the brine ingredients to a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and chill the brine
400g of salt
40g of rosemary
25g of thyme
4 bay leaves
25g of garlic
8g of black peppercorns
Brine the breasts for 40 minutes and the legs for 1 hour
Wash the breasts and legs under cold water and lay out the breasts skin-side down on a work surface. Dust with the transglutaminase and roll up in cling film tightly to create neat cylinders. Allow to set in the fridge for at least 3 hours (ideally longer if possible)
transglutaminase, for dusting
Remove the thigh bones from the quail legs and French-trim the leg bones. Fold the thigh over the bone and pierce the skin to create a lollipop shape
8 quail legs
Preheat a water bath to 85°C
Roll and tie the legs in cling film so they keep their shape. Place in a vacuum bag, seal in a chamber sealer and cook in the water bath for 2 hours. Plunge into iced water to set
Preheat a water bath to 65°C
Once set, place the quail breasts in a small vacuum bag, seal, and cook for 20 minutes
To make the cep purée, sweat the shallots down in the butter, add the chopped ceps and cook over a medium heat to soften. Season, add the cream and reduce the cream until thickened
1 shallot, sliced finely
100g of butter
250g of ceps, frozen and chopped
75ml of double cream
Transfer the mixture to a blender, blitz until smooth and pass through a fine sieve
Preheat the deep fryer to 150°C
Remove the quail legs from the bag and cling film. Dust them first in flour, then dredge in egg wash and finally roll in the breadcrumbs to coat. Deep-fry until golden
flour, seasoned with salt
1 egg, beaten to make eggwash
1 handful of Panko breadcrumbs
Remove the breasts from the bag and roast in a hot pan until golden-brown. Allow to rest before carving and serving
Fry the halved ceps in butter until golden brown. In a separate pan, fry the quail eggs in a dash of oil
2 ceps, cut in half
1 knob of butter
4 quail eggs
1 dash of oil
To plate, carve the quails and arrange on the plate with the legs. Place the egg on top of a piece of quail and a piece of cep to the side. Pipe dots of the cep purée around the plate, garnish with leaves and drizzle over the pan juices from roasting the quail
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