Quails with apricot and pistachio pilaff

Quails are lovely little birds to work with, they have a good flavour and don’t take long to cook.

They are best spatchcocked, which means taking out the backbones and serving them whole, which I think is what the French call en crapaudine, because they look a bit like flattened toads.

I cooked them in butter and a bit of olive oil in a frying pan, until the skin was golden and then finished them off in the oven on top of the pilaff I was making at the same time.

For the pilaff, I sautéed some finely chopped red onion in olive oil with a piece of cassia bark, a couple of bay leaves and a few green cardamom pods. When the onion was soft, I added some pistachio nuts and flaked almonds and Basmati rice. When the rice was coated, I added chicken stock and some chopped semi-dried apricots and a teaspoon of Aleppo pepper flakes and cooked the rice until it was nearly done.

The rice and quails were then finished off in the oven, covered with some foil to prevent the rice from drying out too much.

That was it, served with some chopped parsley.


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