Thursday, June 24, 2010

Deboning quails

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.

Stuffing quail

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!

Stuffing the quail
Stuffed quails

11 Comments:

Blogger RONW said...

odds are that I will never look at a quail in the same way again.

11:19 AM, June 24, 2010  
Blogger Rowena... said...

RONW - I'm thinking that I should have preceded the post with an "R" rating...that first image makes me laugh.

11:29 AM, June 24, 2010  
Blogger Chiara "Kika" Assi said...

I have to admit, deboning anything scares me because it sounds like something you need a lot of patience for, like crochet or being around toddlers.

11:41 AM, June 24, 2010  
Blogger K and S said...

I agree with Chiara...no deboning for me, I'd probably cut myself.

12:14 PM, June 24, 2010  
Blogger Ciao Chow Linda said...

I'm embarrassed for the quail being shown spread eagle like that. With those huge truffle slices, it must have tasted divine.

2:17 PM, June 24, 2010  
Blogger Jude said...

These comments crack me up! Yes, I too may never look at quail the same way, but appreciate that you de-mystified deboning for us. :-)

7:23 PM, June 24, 2010  
Blogger Barbara said...

Hi Ro,

You just reminded me of the menu in one of my all time fav's "Babette's Feast". LOVE that film!!
I can cook like this but I admire you for doing so.

9:02 PM, June 24, 2010  
Blogger Rowena... said...

Chiara, Kat, Linda - deboning a chicken is much more work (don't forget to carve out the oyster!!!) All you have to do is start channeling Julia, Maria, Lydia, Marcella!

Jude - aren't they? I can only imagine what the ones (who found themselves speechless) are thinking. She did WOTTTTT?

Barbara - mise en place!

8:01 AM, June 25, 2010  
Blogger Jude said...

Hahaaa!!! You could do a whole series like this...
Oh, my mysteriously-disappeared Ode to Jamaican food is back - thank you for the heads-up!

3:24 PM, June 25, 2010  
Blogger Sophie said...

Waw!! Those stuffed quails with the truffels inside must taste AWESOMLY TASTY!!!!

You did a splendid job!!

You could allways fly over to Brussels & made this as dinner for my husband & I!!

6:12 PM, June 26, 2010  
Blogger Bella Baita View said...

NIce video and demonstrating that it isn't really all that scary! Happy Anniversay too!

6:13 PM, June 29, 2010  

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