Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Performance: 4 to 6 servings.
“My children loved the growing quail! They used to fight for their little thighs because they always had the most meat,” says Nonna Teresa about her quail cooked in a delicious sauce with the hunter. In general, this dish is made with chicken, but the quail is an excellent alternative because its dark meat harmonizes well with the rich flavors of the sauce.
2 pounds (908 g) of quail, about 6 small birds
Salt to taste
Black pepper, to taste.
3 tablespoons (45 ml) of extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, cut in half
1/4 cup (60 ml) of cognac
2 tablespoons (30 ml) of grappa
1/4 cup (60 ml) of dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
10 ounces (280 g) of cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, cut in half moons
2 cups (300 g) of cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/4 cup (16 g) fresh chopped parsley
1/2 cup (120 ml) of vegetable broth
1 Check the small feathers that are still attached to the quail and remove them.
2 Using a pair of kitchen scissors, butter each quail, cutting well along the belly. Cut off any excess fat that hangs from the quail. Discard the necks and entrails, and run the quail in cold water. Wipe with paper towels and place them on a baking sheet. Season both sides of the quail with salt and pepper.
3 Heat the olive oil in a large thick-bottomed skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. Add the garlic. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic, turns golden brown.
4 Place the quail in the pan, cut the side down and fry for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Remove the garlic if desired. Remove the pan from the heat and add the brandy, grappa, and wine. Do not turn off the stove.
5 Put the pan back on the fire and reduce the heat to medium. Bake for 2 to 3 minutes, until the alcohol evaporates, scraping the golden pieces from the bottom of the pan. Transfer the quail to a plate.
6 Add the mushrooms, onion, tomatoes, and parsley. Savor and season with salt and pepper. With a wooden spoon, crush the tomatoes. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
7 Add the quail in the pan, with the fruit juice that you picked. Pour the broth and reduce the heat to a minimum. Cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes.