I’ve written about quails before, because they are tasty little birds that work well in all sorts of dishes. Here, I have paired them with rehydrated dried wild mushrooms and braised them in some stock and dry white Noilly Prat.
4 oven-ready quails
a selection of dried wild mushrooms
1 large shallot, finely chopped
200 ml chicken stock
100 ml white Noilly Prat
a heaped tablespoon of crème fraiche
a tablespoon of chopped parsley
about a teaspoon of chopped tarragon
a tablespoon of flavourless cooking oil (I used grape pip oil)
First, rinse the fried mushrooms under a running tap and soak them in boiling water for an hour or so. I used a mixture of morilles, girolles and ceps, but any mixture will work. When soft, remove the mushrooms and coarsely chop them. Save the soaking liquid.
Season the quails with salt and pepper.
Heat up the oil and butter in a casserole and sauté the quails until they are lightly coloured. Remove and set aside.
Add the chopped shallot and mushrooms to the casserole and sauté until the shallot is soft. Pour in the Noilly Prat and reduce by around half. return the quails to the pan and pour in enough stock and mushroom water so that the birds are covered. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for around 15 minutes, turning the birds once or twice. Remove the birds and keep them warm. Add the herbs and crème fraiche to the pan and stir the sauce, allowing it to reduce until it coats the back of a spoon.
That is pretty much it.
I served the quails with some new potatoes and steamed asparagus.
You could drink either a full-bodied white wine or a light red with this. We chose a red Burgundy, a 2011 Irancy Palotte from the Caves Bienvenu, because I think that Burgundy and wild mushrooms works perfectly.