Greens and Fried Quail with Buttermilk Dressing

Total Time:
25 hr 15 min
30 min
24 hr 25 min
20 min

4 main-course or 8 first course salads

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Fried Quail:
  • 3 cups buttermilk, divided
  • 3 tablespoons Emeril's Original Essence, recipe follows
  • 3 tablespoons your favorite Louisiana style red hot sauce (recommended: Crystal)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 8 semi-boneless quail (only the small leg bone should remain)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Peanut oil, for frying
  • For serving:
  • 6 to 8 cups assorted greens (arugula, frisee, radicchio, watercress, mustard, or other salad greens)
  • Sliced tomatoes, for garnish
  • Emeril's ESSENCE Creole Seasoning (also referred to as Bayou Blast):
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
For the dressing:
  • Place the egg, garlic, mustard, and lemon juice in the bowl of a food processor and, while the motor is running, slowly drizzle the oil into the machine until completely incorporated and an emulsion is formed. Transfer to a small bowl and add the buttermilk, green onions, Parmesan, salt, and pepper, to taste. Whisk to combine and set aside, refrigerated, while you prepare the quail. Sauce may be made 1 day in advance.

For the Fried Quail:
  • Combine 1 1/2 cups of the buttermilk, the Essence, hot sauce and garlic in a large nonreactive bowl. Stir to blend. Immerse the quail in the mixture and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and for up to 24 hours.

  • Place the flour in a plastic resealable food storage bag and set aside. Place the remaining buttermilk in a small bowl. Working 1 or 2 at a time, remove the quail from the marinade and place in the bag with the flour; shake to coat well. Remove the quail and shake off the excess flour. Dip the quail into the buttermilk and then place back into the flour. Shake again to coat well. Transfer to a large wire rack set over a sheet pan and let rest until ready to fry, at least 20 minutes. Repeat with remaining quail.

  • In a medium Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat enough oil (to come 4-inches up the sides) over medium-high heat to 325 degrees F on a deep-fry or candy thermometer. Add the quail in batches and fry undisturbed until golden brown and floating on the surface of the oil, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the quail and drain on paper towels. (Note: An even oil temperature is the key to successfully frying quail; a clip-on candy or deep-fry thermometer should be kept in the pot at all times. The temperature should remain between 300 and 325 degrees F during cooking.)

  • Allow the quail to rest at least 5 minutes before serving.

For serving:
  • Add the greens to a large bowl and add enough dressing just to coat the greens. Toss well, then mound about 1 1/2 cups of salad in the center of each of 4 plates. Arrange the quail around each mound of greens. Sprinkle each serving with some tomato slices and serve immediately, with more dressing on the side for guests to drizzle over their salads, as desired.

  • Combine all ingredients thoroughly.

  • Yield: 2/3 cup

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