Sausage Stuffed Quail

Total Time:
45 min
20 min
25 min

4 servings as an appetizer, 2 as an entree

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 fennel bulb, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/4 onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • Pinch crushed red pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound bulk fennel sausage
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 bunch fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
  • 4 semi-boneless quail, wingtips removed
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1/2 cup dry port wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups baby arugula, washed and dried
  • Coat a large saute pan lightly with olive oil. Toss in the fennel, onions and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and bring the pan to a medium-high heat. Cook the onions and fennel until they are soft and wilted but don't have any color, 7 to 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and let them cool.

  • In a bowl, combine the sausage, breadcrumbs, Parmigiano, egg, parsley and cooked onions and fennel. Mix well to combine.

  • Divide the stuffing among the 4 quail. Press each quail to lightly flatten and evenly disperse the stuffing. Wrap each quail with a bacon slice and secure the bacon with a toothpick. Tie the quail's legs together with butcher's twine (otherwise they will look like road kill).

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and bring the pan to a medium-high heat. Sprinkle the quail with salt and add it to the pan. Brown them really well on each side, 3 to 4 minutes. When the quail are brown on both sides, transfer the quail to a baking sheet and put them in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the toothpicks and reserve the quail.

  • Meanwhile, ditch the fat from the pan and add the port wine. Cook the wine over medium heat until it has reduced by half. Add 3/4 cup chicken stock, season with salt and reduce by half. Add the remaining chicken stock and reduce it by about three-quarters, or until it seems a little bit thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

  • Divide the arugula among 4 serving plates. Place a quail on each pile of arugula and spoon some of the sauce on the quail and the arugula. Serve immediately.

  • Wine Pairing Suggestion: Alsatian Gewurztraminer

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