The recipe calls for 6 quail, brandy, and white grapes. I had a package of 4 quail, bourbon, and red grapes...and a strong desire to stay home.
Sauté of Quail with Grapes
There are are many varieties of quail in the United States: in the East, the bob-white, called partridge in the South; west of the Rockies, the crested or California quail, which is a most delicious morsel, and various varieties of valley and mountain quail. A quail is a small bird, one usually being considered a portion. Quail should be quite fresh and should be well-lubricated, for it has a tendency to be dry. The breasts need salt pork and almost constant basting. (Salt pork is similar to bacon and fatback. Distinct from bacon, it is not smoked. Unlike fatback, it's salty. As its name suggests, this pork product is cured in salt. It's a common ingredient in a soup base.)
- 6 quail I used 4 Pharaoh/Coturnix/Japanese farm-raised, whole, bone-in quail from Manchester Farms
- Dry bread I chose to use slices of Udi's Gluten Free White Sandwich Bread
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup broth I used Swanson 100% Natural Chicken Broth
- 3 ounces brandy 3 ounces is just over 1/3 cup (2.7 ounces). I used Jim Beam Black Double Aged Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, but in the future I may omit this entirely, as the boyfriend didn't enjoy the flavor added by cooking with alcohol.
- 1 cup white grapes I had red on hand, and they worked beautifully. Since brandy is made from white grapes, I'm sure those flavors blend somewhat more nicely, but my outcome was delicious.
Prepare the quail for sautéing. Brown the birds very quickly in butter, salt and pepper to taste, and add broth. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add brandy and blaze it. Yep, light it on fire. I used a candle lighter. The flame was a lovely blue but somewhat underwhelming, as my liquor of choice didn't have a high alcohol content. (Thanks to my photographer, Jenny, for catching what little flame was visible.)
Add white grapes. Cover again and simmer for 8 minutes longer. The quail and grapes are shown here through the glass lid.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *It was yummy, but the liquor taste wasn't desirable for all my tasters. It would seem a variation could easily leave out that step, but it was fun to catch the dish on fire ever so briefly.