Roast Quail with Pears

19 Oct 2012

Category: recipes

Quail is a flavoursome little bird, and low in fat.  One will make a great starter or light lunch for one person, or use two for a more hearty meal.  Quail with pears takes advantage of autumnal harvests, and it is easy to prepare.

Quail with Pears

Serves 2.  Preparation: 20 minutes.  Cooking: 30-40 minutes


4 quails (or two for a lighter meal)

2 pears, peeled and chopped

half and onion, finely chopped

40ml Calvados or apple brandy

100g prepared chestnuts

40ml balsamic vinegar

1tbsp runny honey

sqeeze of lemon juice

salt, pepper and fresh bayleaf


1. Heat the oven to 180C

2. Gently fry the onion and pears in a little olive oil until soft.

3. Stuff the quail with the onion mixture, then rub the birds with salt and pepper and put in a deep oven-proof dish

4. Pour in the Calvados and enough stock to reach quarter of the way up the birds.  Add the bayleaf and a few chestnuts.

5. Cover with foil and roast for 20 minutes, the remove the foil and cook until the quail are done - probably 10 minutes.

6. Removethe quail from the oven and keep warm.  Strain any fat off the cooking juices and bring to the boil on the hob until the liquor is reduced by half.

7. Add the chestnuts and warm through, then add the balsamic, honey, lemon juice to taste.

Put the quail on a bed of winter greens or roast squash and pour over the sauce.  

Adapted from a recipe on BBC Food.