Grilled Cavendish Quail
Recipe from Three Mountain Inn
This is a great meal to serve for a dinner party with Creamy Polenta (page 130 of the book); your guests will think you spent days in the kitchen. The recipe is also delightful for a fall or winter offering—it really warms the soul.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound hen-of-the-wood mushrooms, chopped into
bite-size pieces (see Note)
- 2 medium shallot cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 medium garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 cup Pinot Noir wine
- 1 cup chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup crème fraîche
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh, minced parsley, chives, tarragon, or chervil (optional)
- 4 semi-boneless quail
Note: "Hen-of-the-wood" mushrooms are available in Vermont during the summer and early fall.
1. Prepare a charcoal or stovetop grill to medium-high.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce: Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic, and saute until soft, stirring often. Whisk in the wine and reduce by half, whisking frequently, over medium heat. Add stock and continue to whisk until sauce reduces and thickens. Swirl in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Add the crème fraîche, salt, and pepper to taste. Add herbs, if desired, and continue to simmer for another 3 minutes.
3. Prepare the quail: Lightly rub the remaining tablespoon of oil over the quail, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Grill the quail for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter and let rest for a few minutes prior to serving.
Cavendish Game Birds
In 1986, Bill Thompson sold his New Jersey restaurant to move to Vermont and work at an inn. Fresh game birds weren't available locally, so he began raising pheasants and quail in his backyard to feed the inn's guests.
Three years later, Bill was delivering fresh pheasant and quail to many of Vermont's finest restaurants, while his brother, Rick, was selling them to his restaurant accounts in Philadelphia and Boston. In 1991, the brothers joined forces to expand the business.
In 1998, they purchased a 75-acre farm in Springfield, Vermont. where they maintain their breeding stock of Coturnix quail and operate a state-of-the-art hatchery that fills their barns with thousands of quail each week. The brothers spent three years selectively breeding Coturnix quail to develop a meatier bird, which is 25 percent larger than commercial quail. They wanted to meet the needs of many chefs who were dissatisfied with the small size of commercially raised quail. Originally from Asia, these quail produce a light meat with a well-rounded, slightly sweet flavor, making them a very versatile choice for chefs. This delicate meat can be prepared in a variety of ways, using traditional or contemporary cooking methods.
Ring-necked pheasant, also of Asian origin, are prized by food connoisseurs and sportsmen alike. Cavendish Game Birds' pheasants are reared in open flight pens under a natural cover of corn and sorghum, enabling them to develop a mild game flavor reminiscent of their wild counterparts. The cold fall and winter in Vermont provide an ideal climate for developing a finish, or layer of fat under the skin, which enhances their flavor and keeps them moist during the cooking process.
Dishing Up Vermont
- by Tracey Medeiros
- Storey Publishing, 2008
- Photography by Scott Dorrance
- 288 pages; Full color, photographs throughout; $19.95 paper
- ISBN-10: 1603420258
- ISBN-13: 978-1-60342-025-9
- Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created October 2008