What to do with a mess of Scaled quail and some rabbits? That was the question after our last winter quail hunt to New Mexico. A dinner party plan was being hatched. We’ll need some starters for the event was part of the discussion, so my wheels were turning and I remembered a dining epiphany from early last year, Panko.
I had seen it in the grocery stores but never really thought about how to use it. My first use was to make some crispy breaded shrimp and the lights turned on. Beautifully browned, crispy, light and so tasty I’d never forget this recipe. Salt the meat, coat with the Panko glue (dust the meat with flour then dip in egg and water mixture), coat the meat with the Panko, and fry in oil. Next time I used it was with sunfish and again such a mouthwatering delight.
Panko Fried Quail
Now the plan was to apply this to quail breasts. This little appetizer took only a minute and a half on each side to produce a quick finger food to start off the party. What else? Well having skinned the quail and filleted the breast meat off the carcasses; we had the raw material for a quail consommé, another perfect quail starter.
Why consommé? Well don’t you want something fancy sounding for a dinner party? Of course, so I researched recipes on the internet and discovered that consommé is basically stock that is clarified using egg whites to produce a clear and deeply flavorful broth. It is a two-step process; make the stock, then clarify for the final consommé. This was prepared the day before the party. I reserved some of the vegetables used to make the stock and some of the meat from the quail carcasses, placed in the bowls before guests arrived and ladled the re-heated consommé into the bowls for the second starter. If nothing else goes right these quail starters will delight your guests or you can make these and savor them yourself.
Panko Fried Quail
quail breasts (8 pieces), filleted
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten with 1 tbs water
- 2 cups
Panko bread crumbs
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup
- Salt the quail breasts and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.
- Set up 3 bowls, one with the flour, one with egg and water mixture, one with Panko and ground pepper.
- Dust the quail breasts in the flour, then dip in the egg mixture, (this is the Panko glue) and finally coat with the Panko.
- This can be set aside or refrigerated until time to fry the appetizers.
- Heat the oil to 350o F and fry for 1 ½ minutes per side.
- Drain on a paper towel and serve while still hot.
10 to 20
Quail carcasses (breast meat removed) salted
Celery heart halved with leaves
Leek trimmed and halved
Yellow onion halved with skin on
Italian parsley sprigs
- 1 tsp
Button mushrooms or a handful of dried mushrooms
- 2 sprigs
- 2 sprigs
- 1 tsp
of the quail meat
- quail stock
- 1 bunch green onions
For the Quail Stock
- Place quail carcasses in a pot and cover with water.
- Heat on medium high until just barely a boil then turn down to a slow simmer. Do not let the stock boil vigorously.
- Simmer for 2 to 3 hours until the meat easily pulls of the carcasses.
- Add all the other ingredients and simmer for ½ hour without stirring, then remove the carrots, celery and leek.
- Slice in ½ inch pieces and reserve these for serving the consommé.
- Simmer another ½ hour then fish out the quail carcasses and remove the meat.
- Strain the stock ladling through a sieve into a new pot leaving behind the sediment at the bottom.
For the Quail Consommé
- Pulse all the ingredients except egg whites in a food processor until chopped finely.
- Mix in the egg whites in with the chopped vegetables and herbs.
- Heat the stock until just barely simmering.
- Add the egg white, vegetable and herb mix and stir every two minutes or so until the mixture forms a raft on top of the liquid.
- I had some trouble here and did not have a very solid raft but it all worked out fine when strained to the finished product.
- Using a ladle, create an opening in the center of the raft.
- Ladle liquid over the raft every 5 minutes or so for an hour.
- Ladle the finished consommé from the hole in the raft through a sieve lined with cheese cloth into a clean pot.
- Place a few slices of celery, carrot, leek and some quail meat into bowls and ladle hot consommé into the bowls and serve.
- Salt to taste when the consommé is finished and add some freshly sliced green onions or herbs to the final dish.