Three days after our anniversary and I'm still thinking about those Cailles ‘en sarcophage’, the quails stuffed with foie gras and truffles. Home cooks who might want to attempt this dish should know only one thing - deboning quail is EASY. In the case of Babette's Feast, all that needs to be removed is the rib cage. Heck, she even stuck their itty bitty little heads into the dish, and the dear General ate it! There's an excellent video on how to remove rib cage and leg bones, but first, rule #1: use a very sharp paring knife (I busted out my Sanelli). A boning knife was too awkward for my petite hands. Starting just to the side of the backbone, I cut through the skin and ran my knife down against the rib cage until the breast meat, carefully cutting through wing and leg joints only to separate them from the rib cage (I wanted these intact for better presentation). Repeat for the other side. To remove the flesh, gently pull away from the rib cage as shown in this video (the chef does a complete deboning procedure). If necessary, assist the process with a little help from your knife. Remove any small bones/cartillage that may have broken off.
In the event of an error message, the video can be viewed here.
Many recipes say to truss the quails after stuffing, but in Italy the toothpick keeps everything together for smaller items. I placed a small scoop of foie gras and a couple slices of truffle. In retrospect, it should have been at least 3 slices, because summer truffles aren't as intensely flavored as those in autumn. Bring up the sides and fasten with a sturdy toothpick (or truss them). Fasten the leg joints with kitchen twine and voila!