Smoke Quail with Pine Mushrooms, Chestnut and Polenta

Serves Serves 6
  • Steps
  • Ingredients


  • Take breasts and legs off quail, reserving carcasses and place on a baking tray. Using a smoking gun, smoke quail, cover and set aside.
  • Place 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan and set over high heat. Add reserved quail carcasses and fry until browned. Add crushed garlic, carrot, leek and onion and continue to cook until brown. Add sherry and deglaze pan. Add stock and 125 ml water and allow to boil until reduced by half. Remove from heat, strain, return to heat and allow to simmer until thickened and reduced. Set aside, keeping warm.
  • Meanwhile, place chestnuts in a microwave and cook until skin has opened up. Remove from microwave, peel and place in a saucepan. Add milk and butter and set over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low and allow to simmer gently until softened, about 40 minutes.
  • Transfer chestnuts and most of the milk to a food processor and process to a smooth puree. Add a little more milk if required. Set aside, keeping warm.
  • Place polenta and 185 mls water in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer until soft. Remove from heat.
  • Set a lightly greased crepe pan over medium heat. Divide cooked polenta into 6 portions. Place one portion in the pan and using a wet knife or small spatula, spread thinly over pan. Allow to cook, turning, until crispy on both sides, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from pan, season and set aside, keeping warm. Repeat with remaining polenta.
  • Place a grill pan over high heat, add quail, skin side down and fry until char lines appear, about 2 minutes. Turn and fry until cooked through, about another 1-2 minutes. Remove from grill pan and set aside to rest.
  • Place a frypan over medium heat. Once hot add prosciutto slices and cook until crisp. Remove prosciutto from frypan, place in a food processor and process to a crumb. Set aside.
  • Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon olive oil in the frypan and increase heat to high. Add pine mushrooms, garlic and leaves of thyme sprigs and cook until browned. Season and set aside.
  • To serve, place some chestnut puree on each plate. Add charred quail breasts and legs. Add a polenta crisp and mushrooms. Drizzle with sauce and sprinkle with prosciutto crumb. Garnish with wood sorrel and micro herbs and season with salt and pepper.

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