Recipe courtesy of Mario Batali
Quaglie con Pancetta (Quail with Pancetta)

Ingredients

  • 8 quail, boneless
  • 1/2 pound pancetta, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus 4 tablespoons plus 1 cup
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 pound coppa, or capocollo, thinly sliced
  • 10 sage leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked borlotti beans
  • 4 bunches chives cut into 1-inch batons

Directions

Check quail for bones or feathers and place in mixing bowl. Add pancetta, vinegar, olive oil, honey and black pepper and toss to coat. Set aside and preheat grill. In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan heat 4 tablespoons olive oil until smoking. Add the onion and cook until softened and light golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Cut the coppa into julienne and add to the pan with the onions. Add the sage leaves and the beans and lower heat to medium and cook the beans until soft and fragrant, about 7 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and keep warm on the side of the stove.  

Bring 2 quarts of water to the boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. Prepare an ice water bath next to the stove. Drop the chives into the boiling water and cook 20 to 30 seconds until deep green. Quickly fish them out with a spider and refresh in the ice bath. Remove and drain well between 2 towels. Place the chives in a blender with the remaining oil and blend until smooth, 30 to 45 seconds. Remove and set aside. Drain the pancetta from the marinade and place in a cold nonstick pan. Place pan over medium heat and cook until crispy and golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes Drain the quails from their marinade and place skin side down on the hottest part of the grill. Cook until medium rare inside, about 4 minutes on the first side and 2 minutes on the back. Meanwhile arrange the beans on 4 separate plates. Remove the quail from the grill and place on the piles of beans. Arrange the pancetta pieces around the beans on the plate. Drizzle with the chive oil and serve.

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