Queen's Choice Quail with Fig and Date Sauce

TOTAL TIME: 3 hr 55 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: 3 hr
Cook: 35 min
 
YIELD: 4 servings of 2 quail each
LEVEL: Intermediate

ingredients

QUAIL AND MARINADE:
  • 2 fresh limes
  • 8 whole quail (these are normally between 4 and 8 ounces each)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
FIG AND DATE SAUCE:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 8 fresh figs, chopped
  • 8 dates, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
RUB FOR QUAIL:
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons salt
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Directions

Early in the day, place the limes in s small bowl and microwave them for about 3 minutes to release the essential oils. Set aside briefly until they are just cool enough to handle. Rinse the quail and dry with paper towels. Set the quail in a non-reactive bowl and squeeze the lime juice over, and then season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Let sit refrigerated for about 3 or 4 hours.

While the quail are marinating, make the sauce. Heat the olive oil over medium high heat in a medium saute pan and saute the shallots until translucent. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, and stir in figs and dates and let sauce reduce by half. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper as needed.

On the episode, the quail were roasted over a spit. If you have a rotisserie arrangement you can roast them that way. Otherwise, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine olive oil with rosemary, thyme, and salt, and rub over surface of the quail. Roast until tender but still juicy, about 20 minutes. Remove and let rest. Serve with fig and date sauce.

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