This is an easy and tasty recipe for the spoils of a great day in the pines. Like all cooking, the magic is the technique in the kitchen and enjoyment at the table. Find a great bottle of Pinot Noir, light a few candles over a well set table, and put on a dreamy playlist (see below). You might be able to go hunting again next weekend.
In a blender, ninja, or food processor:
1 cup Buttermilk
6 garlic Cloves
2 Serrano peppers
1 tablesoon Cumin
1 tablespoon Coriander
1 nob of Fresh Ginger (or tablespoon of dried)
1 fist full of Fresh Cilantro
2 Teaspoons of Sea Salt
Blend until smooth. Transfer into a ziplock bag.
Preparing the Quail:
Take two Quail per guest and butterfly the birds by cutting along each side of the backbone with kitchen shears. Place in the zip lock and express out all air before sealing. Place in chill in marinade for 12-24 hours. An hour before cooking, pull Quail for the marinade and pat dry with paper or kitchen towels. Discard the marinade. Place in a pyrex style dish or roasting pan and sprinkle lightly with sea salt- massaging it over all surfaces. The quail will be coming to room temperature as you prepare other parts of the meal.
Cooking the Quail:
Preheat the top broiler to high (around 450) and set top rack between 6-8 inches from the top of oven. Brush melted butter over the birds. On a broiling rack on the roasting pan, cook each bird skin side down around 2 1/2 minutes until lightly brown. Flip the birds and return to oven skin side up for about a 4 minute ride until the skin turns golden. In order to not over cook it is best to stand in front of the oven with a cocktail. The quail should be golden brown and crispy to the tooth while still rosy and moist inside. Serve over Mushroom Risotto (alternatively you could serve with a savory wild rice).
The Mushroom Risotto (Serves 4):
6 cups of chicken broth
1 pound of Mushrooms, thinly sliced (your choice, self foraged is awesome)
2 Shallots, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
1/2 cup Dry White Wine, optional-but nice. Save skunked wine.
Sea Salt and Fresh Black Pepper to taste
A handful of finely chopped Chives
4 Tablespoons Butter
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook the Mushrooms first, get the Broth warm at the same time:
In a sauce pan, warm the broth to a gentle simmer.
Preheat a deep skillet or cast iron pan to over medium high heat and add around two tablespoons of quality olive oil. Stir tin the mushroom and cook until soft, around 2 1/2 minutes. Remove mushroom and all liquids to a bowl and set aside.
Cook the Risotto:
Add one more tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet and stir in the shallots, cooking for a minute. Pour in the Rice and stir over to coat with olive oil. As the rice becomes a golden color, pour in the wine, continue to stir until the wine is absorbed.
Add a ladle full of warm broth and stir until is is absorbed. Then the next laddle and the next- until the rice is cooked. This is approximately 15 to 20 minutes of undisturbed stirring, so be sure you have a fresh cocktail at hand by the stovetop.
When the rice is al dente, remove from the heat and stir in the mushrooms and any of their liquid, the chives, and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
As this is a rather savory dish, I might suggest an acidic compliment to banish the plate. Consider a simple arugula salad with pears or orange supremes and a light vinaigrette.
Pinot Noir would be a great choice for this dish because of its low tannin profile. Alternatives might be a bold California Rose, or if you need a white, a French Chablis.
Might I suggest my favorite kitchen cocktail, The 5:01. It is a bit less sophisticated Old Fashioned that dresses up (and boozes up the old tailgater Bourbon and Coke):
- 1 ounce Mexican Coke, flat
- 2 ounces "mixing" Bourbon (my house mixing Bourbons are Makers, AAA, or Old Forrester)
- Long orange peel, carefully cut to not include the white pithe
- Splash of Luxardo Cherry juice
- 4 dashes Angostura bitters
- 4 dashes Reagan's Orange Bitters
- Luxardo Marishino Cherry
- Fresh and Clean Ice
In a large Double Old Fashion Glass, over large clean ice cubes mix all liquid ingredients slowly with a spoon. Twist Orange pell over the glass to release oils and strike it against the rim, then char Orange peel in stove element, over torch, or lighter then tuck it into the top of the drink and further garnish with two cherries on a cocktail spear. Use a cloth cocktail napkin.
*If you aren’t sure what tunes to play try this: Spotify List: Barn Dinner by Will Kelly
Will Kelly is a contributor to the Dispatch and the Sporting Gent Camp Cook. He is a friend of the shop and and still contends that he was our first customer.