Pan-roasted quail, herbs and fried egg

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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.

First published in 2015





  • 4 quails
  • transglutaminase, for dusting

Herb brine

To confit the legs

  • 8 quail legs
  • flour, seasoned with salt
  • 1 egg, beaten to make eggwash
  • 1 handful of Panko breadcrumbs

Cep purée

  • 250g of ceps, frozen and chopped
  • 1 shallot, sliced finely
  • 100g of butter
  • 75ml of double cream


Quail eggs


  • Water bath
  • Vacuum bags
  • Chamber sealer
  • Blender
  • Deep-fryer


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
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
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
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
First published in 2015

Paul Welburn has years of Michelin-star cooking behind him, holding a star for five years at restaurant W1.

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