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Quail Afternoon Tea

  • Steps
  • Ingredients


  • Preheat combi oven to steam at 90C. Preheat under bench oven to 180C and place black roasting tray in the under bench oven to preheat.
  • For the Parfait Reduction place all ingredients into a 3 litre saucepan. Place over high heat and boil until reduced by three quarters. Pass through a fine sieve into a bowl and set aside over an ice bath to cool.
  • For the Duck Tea, remove neck and wings from duck. Remove and discard the skin from the neck. Chop wings and neck into small pieces and set aside. Remove 1 breast, remove skin and set breast aside in the fridge in preparation for the Duck Raft.
  • Remove the pre-heated roasting pan from the oven and place over medium heat on the stovetop. Add the olive oil and chopped duck bones and fry until caramelised and golden. Add the chopped vegetables and continue frying off until caramelised. Add the tomato paste and stir through until lightly caramelised.
  • Add duck stock and stir to deglaze the pan. Transfer to a 3 litre saucepan and place over medium heat. Once bubbling, reduce to a very low heat and simmer for 45 minutes, continuously skimming the surface to remove scum and fat.
  • Pass through a fine sieve lined with muslin and set aside over ice to cool. Once cooled, skim surface again to remove fat and any residue. Set aside in the fridge until needed.
  • For the Parfait, place livers, cooled parfait reduction and eggs into the bowl of a Thermomix. Set the blade to reverse setting, the speed 0.5, the time for 7 minutes, the temperature at 37C and start the machine.
  • Meanwhile, melt the butter to liquid and set aside over ice to cool slightly until it is lukewarm.
  • Prepare a narrow, deep, metal pan by placing 3 large sheets of cling wrap on top of one another on the bench. Smooth out and then transfer to the tray to line all sides. Set aside until needed.
  • Once Thermomix cycle is complete, turn off heat, return the blade rotation to forward and increase speed to 4. With motor running, slowly pour in melted butter until emulsified. Once emulsified, increase speed to 8 and blitz for 5 seconds to ensure the mixture is very smooth. Season to taste and pass through fine sieve.
  • Pour the Parfait mix into the prepared metal tray. Cover very tightly with foil and place in the pre-heated combi oven for 31 minutes.
  • Once cooked, the Parfait should have a very soft jiggle in the centre and sides should be just set. Remove the Parfait from the oven, open foil half way to allow steam to escape and place into the blast chiller until cold, about 35 minutes. Once completely cold, remove from blast chiller and set aside in fridge until needed.
  • To make the Duck Raft, place a small frypan over medium heat. Add the coriander seeds, cardamom pod, cloves, star anise, cinnamon stick and white peppercorns and toast until aromatic, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside until needed.
  • Roughly cut the peeled celery, brown onion, carrot, turnip, leek and beetroot into chunks and place in the bowl of a food processor.
  • Roughly chop the reserved duck breast and add to food processor, along with the egg whites. Blend until well combined, about 30 seconds.
  • Place the cooled Duck Tea into a 2 litre saucepan. Add the toasted aromatics and carefully whisk the Duck Raft into the cold stock. Set over high heat and cook until the raft forms a solid layer on top of the stock and liquid has come to 80C, about 15 minutes.
  • Once stock has come to temperature, remove the saucepan from the heat and pierce the centre of the raft with a small ladle to form a small breathing hole.
  • Place the saucepan back on the stovetop on a small burner over very low heat, with the flame directly underneath the breathing hole. Gently simmer the stock for 35 minutes, continuously clearing the breathing hole with the small ladle.
  • Once stock is ready, very carefully remove as much of the raft as possible in one quick swoop with a large slotted spoon.
  • Pass the finished Duck Tea through a fine sieve lined with muslin. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary. Reserve 100ml of the Duck Tea for the Duck Tea Glaze. Transfer the remainder of the Duck Tea to a 2 litre saucepan and set aside in the fridge until needed.
  • For the Duck Tea Glaze, place the reserved Duck Tea in a small copper saucepan over medium heat and reduce to a syrupy glaze. Remove from heat and swirl in the butter. Place the copper pot in the fridge until needed.
  • For the Mushroom Purée, place a 3 litre saucepan over medium heat. Add butter and swirl to melt. Add the garlic and lightly sauté.
  • Add diced mushrooms and thyme and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and the liquid has evaporated. Transfer mixture to a Thermomix and purée on speed 10 for 15 seconds until smooth. Scrape down the sides and blitz for a further 5 seconds. Add the chicken stock, a little at a time, and blitz in bursts between each addition to achieve a very smooth puree. Pass through a fine sieve, season to taste and set aside in fridge.
  • For the Madeira Cream, place the butter, shallots, thyme and garlic in a 3 litre saucepan over medium heat and lightly sauté until softened.
  • Add the madeira and stir to deglaze the pan then reduce until nearly all the liquid has evaporated. Add chicken stock and reduce the liquid by half.
  • Add the cream and reduce further until mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon. Season to taste and pass through fine sieve. Set aside in fridge.
  • For the Pearl Barley Porridge, place all ingredients in 2 litre saucepan and simmer, covered, until al dente, about 20 minutes. Discard vegetable and herb pieces and season to taste. Transfer to a medium glass bowl, cover with cling film and set aside in fridge.
  • Meanwhile, for the Pearl Barley Mirepoix, heat a medium frypan over medium heat. Add the oil and all other ingredients and sauté quickly until just soft, but with no colour, about 1 minute. Transfer to a small glass bowl and set aside in fridge.
  • For the Quail Egg, place a 2 litre saucepan of water over high heat and bring to the boil. Add quail eggs and boil for 50 seconds, then remove from the saucepan and refresh in a bowl of iced water. Very gently peel and set aside until needed.
  • Set up a crumbing station by placing the flour, ground panko breadcrumbs and egg wash in separate bowls. Very carefully flour the quail egg, then dip in egg wash and then the crumbs. Repeat the egg wash and crumb to give the egg a double layer of crumbs. Place crumbed eggs in the crumb bowl and set aside in fridge until required.
  • For the Brioche Disc, slice the brioche into 1cm thick slices and cut out discs with a 5.5cm cutter. Lightly brush the rounds with some melted butter and season. Place the brioche rounds on a small round tray lined with baking paper and lightly toast in the underbench oven until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside until needed.
  • To prepare the Quail, remove the neck and remove winglets at the mid joint. Carefully remove wishbone. Cut behind the breast cavity and then cut through the quail midway to separate the crown and leg sections. Separate the legs by removing them from the waist ensuring to keep the leg and thigh intact. Place crown on a small tray lined with baking paper, and cover with wet chux. Place in the fridge until needed.
  • To prepare the quail legs, place a medium, non-stick frypan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and, once hot, add a small knob of the butter and swirl until butter is foaming. Add one half of the garlic, 1 sprig of thyme and the quail legs and sauté, basting with the butter. Add a further one to two knobs of butter, a little at a time, and baste until legs are tender, about 5 minutes.
  • Once cooked, transfer the quail legs to a small, flat tray and place, covered, in the fridge until cold. Once cold, french the leg bone and trim to neaten the drumstick. Return the trimmed quail leg to fridge until needed.
  • To finish the Wild Mushrooms, remove the dried mushrooms from their soaking water and squeeze out excess moisture. Slice 5 or 6 of the trompette de la mort in half, lengthways. Slice 5 or 6 oyster mushrooms and brown mushrooms lengthways. Pick out 5 – 6 whole morel mushrooms. Place all prepped mushrooms onto a small flat tray lined with baking paper, cover with wet chux and transfer to fridge until required.
  • To prepare the Lapsang Souchong Tea Bag, place 1 teaspoon of the loose-leaf Lapsang Souchong tea into the middle of the muslin square. Add a 2cm piece of thyme. Gently gather up the corners and form a small pouch. Truss the bag with a piece of string and place in small teapot. Set aside until needed.

To finish the dish:

  • Trim up the pine needles and rosemary sprigs so they can fit neatly into the box, allowing for the quail to sit on top of the sprigs. Place neatly into the smoking box to create a nest-like bed.
  • Place a small, non stick frypan on the stove top on medium heat. Add 1 tbsp of olive oil. When the oil is hot add 1 tbsp of butter and swirl til butter melts. Place quail crown, breast side down, into the pan and cook, turning the quail and basting continually with the butter. Reduce heat and cook for 6 – 7 minutes, adding butter, a little at a time, and turning the crown until quail is golden brown. Remove quail from pan and rest, upside down, on small round tray,
  • Using the same pan, add 3 – 4 slices of swiss brown mushrooms, 3 – 4 strips of oyster mushrooms, 3 – 4 whole morel mushrooms and 6 – 7 strips of the trompette de la mort mushrooms. Sauté until tender and season with sea salt and black pepper to taste. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on a small round tray lined with paper towel and set aside until needed.
  • Place the small saucepan of Duck Tea on the stovetop over medium heat until warm but not boiling. Set aside, keeping warm, until needed.
  • Place 5 heaped tablespoons of Pearl Barley in a medium saucepan. Add 3 heaped tablespoons of the Pearl Barley Mirepoix and 90ml of the chicken stock. Place on high heat and stir to loosen. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the Mushroom Purée and 1 – 2 tablespoons of the Madeira Cream and stir continuously, as for risotto, until excess liquid evaporates, about 2 – 3 minutes.
  • Remove Pearl Parley porridge from heat and grate in 1 – 2 tablespoons of parmesan and add a small knob of butter. Stir to incorporate, then spoon in to the serving bowl.
  • Place small copper saucepan of Duck Tea Glaze onto stovetop on low heat. Heat gently until glaze melts. Add the frenched quail legs and toss gently through the glaze to coat. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to serve.
  • Roché one teaspoon of Parfait on to the Brioche Disc. Finish with a sprinkle of sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper and place onto the top shelf of the teapot stand.
  • Carefully lower the crumbed quail eggs into the pre-heated deep fryer with a slotted spoon. Deep fry until a light golden colour, about 30 – 35 seconds. Remove from deep fryer and place on small round tray lined with paper towel to drain.
  • Remove the breasts from the quail crown and trim to neaten. Place into the smoking box and sit two quail legs on top of the breast pieces. Carefully close the box, ensuring the legs don’t catch.
  • Once quail egg is drained, place on top of the Pearl Barley Porridge. Scatter mushrooms around on top.
  • Pour the warm Duck Tea into the teapot and place on the bottom shelf of the teapot stand, next to the teacup.
  • Place the teapot stand, the serving bowl and the smoking box on to the trolley. Place the smoking gun, filled with applewood chips, onto the trolley, and transport to table.
  • To serve, fill the smoking box with smoke and close drawer. Smoke for 1 – 2 minutes. Serve with Parfait topped Brioche Disc and Duck Tea.

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