For the eggs: Cook the eggs in boiling water about 5 minutes for a soft-boiled egg. Drain and cool the eggs in icy cold water, and then remove the shell. Put the flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Put the bread crumbs in a separate bowl and the beaten eggs in a third bowl. Take the eggs and coat them in the flour mixture, then the beaten eggs, and finally the bread crumbs. Keep them in the refrigerator until ready to fry. For the quails: Using a sharp knife, slice straight down the breastbone of the quail to open the breast cavity. Remove the rib cage so you have a boneless breast attached to the bone-in legs and wings. Cook's Note: If the breast breaks away from the legs, which can happen with such a small bird, cook each portion separately. Alternately, you can ask your butcher to de-bone the quails for you. For the herb garnish: Mix the parsley, basil, thyme, garlic, and olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Season the quails with salt and pepper. In a large oven-proof saucepan, heat the canola oil on high heat and grill the quails in canola oil on all sides until brown. Finish cooking them in the oven for approximately 8 minutes. Keep the quails warm on a separate plate. For the creamed spinach: Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the spinach and cook for 15 seconds. Drain in a fine mesh strainer, pressing with a large spoon to release as much water as possible. In a small saucepan, heat the cream to a simmer and let it reduce by half, for about 10 minutes. Add the Dijon mustard and stir. Put aside. Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic, stirring until soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, just until the liquid is released. Add the reduced cream mixture, season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and keep warm. Using a deep fryer, heat the oil to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C. Fry the eggs for about 1 minute, or just until the crust is lightly brown. For serving: Plate each portion with creamed spinach topped with a quail and garnished with the herb mixture. Finish the plate with the fried egg cut in half.
Recipe courtesy of Chuck Hughes