Quail with Szechuan-Honey Glaze and Winter Salad
We harvest tiny mizuna and pea shoots from our estate garden for the salad in this dish. The rich flavors of the quail contrast with the pungent greens and sweet-tangy fruit, making this a perfect dish for winter.
- Didier Ageorges, Executive Chef, Chalk Hill Estate
8 quails (either boned or bone-in)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil + extra for seasoning
Salt and freshly ground Szechuan peppercorns*
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/2 cup honey
3/4 pound slightly bitter salad greens
Seeds of one pomegranate
Rub the quails with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and Szechuan pepper.
Make the vinaigrette: Whisk together the shallot, vinegar and 1/2 cup olive oil. Season to taste with salt and Szechuan or black pepper.
Make the glaze: Set the honey and a generous pinch of ground Szechuan peppercorns to warm gently in a small saucepan.
Preheat the broiler. Place quail, breast side up in a large roasting pan with a few inches between them. Place under broiler for 4-5 minutes. Turn and broil 2-3 minutes more. Turn again and generously brush the honey glaze over the breast and legs. Return to broiler 1-2 minutes more, until glaze is caramelized, and breast meat feels firm. Remove from oven and cover loosely with foil.
Toss salad greens with the vinaigrette in a large bowl. Divide among four plates. Set 2 quail next to, but slightly overlapping, the salad. Scatter pomegranate seeds over the dish and serve.
*Can be purchased at most Asian or gourmet markets. May substitute black peppercorns if desired.
Serve with Chalk Hill Estate Merlot.