by John Manikowski
The combination of melon and thyme, reduced in white wine, brandy and triple sec is refreshing and light, low in fat and cholesterol.
Serve with pearl barley simmered in chicken stock and stir-fried thin strips of jicama, asparagus tips and diced red bell pepper.
Tie the legs of the quail together with string. Combine flour with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a large brown paper bag. Shake to mix and add the quail. Shake well. Remove quail, shake off excess flour and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lay in the birds and brown 10 to 12 minutes on all sides, turning frequently with tongs. Add the wine and red onion, cover and simmer 6-8 minutes. Remove birds, turn up the heat, add melon, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper and deglaze the pan with the brandy and triple sec, 1-2 minutes, scraping up all bits and pieces.
Transfer 2 quail each to 2 warm plates and spoon mixture from pan over the quail. Serve immediately.
A Pinot Gris from Oregon, the King Estate perhaps, drinks very nicely with its peach and melon flavors running through. A bright wine for a bright dish.
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