Bacon and Bay Leaf Roasted Quail

, from Issue #19. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Bacon and Bay Leaf Roasted Quail

Serves: 4


6 quail, spatchcocked and semi- boned (ask your butcher to do this for you)

3 small waxy potatoes, scrubbed
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped thyme
2 teaspoons olive oil
sea salt and freshly grated pepper

To cook
12 slices streaky bacon
6 small bay leaves

kitchen string

Endive and Radicchio Salad with Walnut Oil Dressing
1 radicchio lettuce
2 heads of endive
baby cos leaves
‚Äč1 bulb of fennel, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons walnut oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice or Chardonnay vinegar
sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Stuffing: Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water until just cooked. Drain and peel when cool.

Combine the garlic, thyme and oil and rub onto both sides of the quail. Season and lay skin side down on the bench. Place half a potato on the breast meat, rounded side down, and fold in the sides to reshape the quail. The join can be secured with a toothpick. Turn breast side up.

Lay 2 strips of bacon on the bench and place a quail on top. Wrap so the breast and legs are totally covered, with only the tips of the legs sticking out. Place a bay leaf over the breast and tie with string to secure.

Place on a lightly greased or Teflon sheet-lined baking tray and roast for 25 minutes. Rest, loosely covered, for 10 minutes.

To serve: Remove the string and cut each quail in half through the breast. Arrange 3 quail halves on each plate and drizzle over any pan juices. Roasted vine tomatoes are a nice accompaniment. 

If you prefer not to use boned quail, just place the potato in the cavity of each quail along with a sprig of thyme, a slice of garlic and season.

Menu: Serve Rhubarb and Almond Cake to finish.

Salad: Whisk all the dressing ingredients together and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Tear the radicchio into large pieces and place in a bowl. Separate the endive leaves and add to the radicchio with the cos and fennel.

Use your hands to toss the salad with enough dressing to just coat the leaves. Place in a serving bowl and scatter with a little sea salt and freshly ground pepper.