Richard's perfect roast dinner – stuffed Norfolk quail with Norfolk pearl barley

4
2 hours

Ingredients

Quail

  • 4 quails, deboned from the bottom up and trimmed of any excess fat (you can ask your butcher to do this for you)

Chicken jus

  • 330g of chicken bones
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 1/2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 330ml of white wine
  • 1 1/2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 660ml of veal stock
  • 660ml of chicken stock
  • 10g of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 10g of chervil, chopped
  • 10g of chives, chopped
  • 1 dash of white wine
  • olive oil, for frying

Stuffing for quail

  • 250g of sausage meat
  • 75g of pork back fat, finely diced
  • 35g of chicken livers, trimmed, cleaned and diced
  • 1/2 shallot, finely diced
  • 1/2 garlic clove, chopped
  • 125g of chutney
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2.5g of sea salt
  • 1g of white pepper
  • 12g of chervil, finely chopped
  • 12g of parsley, finely chopped
  • 12g of tarragon, finely chopped

Roasted carrots

  • 8 small carrots
  • 250g of salted butter
  • salt
  • pepper

Roasted parsnips

  • 8 baby parsnips
  • 250g of salted butter
  • salt

Roasted onions

  • 12 small onions
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • rapeseed oil

Pearl barley

  • 1/2 leek, thinly sliced
  • 100g of pearl barley, soaked overnight in water and drained
  • 125ml of white wine
  • 1l chicken stock, heated to boiling
  • 1/4 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of chervil, finely chopped
  • 40g of Parmesan, grated
  • 125g of salted butter

To serve

  • carrot tops

Method

1
Begin by making the chicken jus – you can make this ahead of time and reheat later if desired. Place a medium-sized pan over a high heat, add a splash of oil and the chicken bones and fry until golden brown. Remove the chicken bones from the pan, set aside, and add the chopped vegetables. Cook until golden
  • 1 1/2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 330g of chicken bones
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • olive oil, for frying
2
Place the roasted chicken bones back in the pan with the vegetables and add the white wine. Bring to the boil and reduce by three-quarters. Add the chicken stock, veal stock, garlic, thyme and bay leaf, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Skim away any impurities that have risen to the surface
  • 330ml of white wine
  • 660ml of chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 660ml of veal stock
3
Cook the sauce for 45 minutes, skimming occasionally, then pass through muslin cloth into a clean pan and return to a high heat. Leave to reduce until the sauce has thickened nicely
4
Next prepare the stuffing for the quails – it is wise to get the birds prepped ahead of time to save on stress later. Fry the chopped garlic in a little oil until soft, then combine with the rest of the stuffing ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Fry off a small patty of the stuffing to check the seasoning, as this is the only opportunity you'll have to taste it, and adjust as necessary
  • 12g of tarragon, finely chopped
  • 250g of sausage meat
  • 75g of pork back fat, finely diced
  • 35g of chicken livers, trimmed, cleaned and diced
  • 1/2 shallot, finely diced
  • 1/2 garlic clove, chopped and lightly sweated
  • 125g of chutney
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2.5g of sea salt
  • 1g of white pepper
  • 12g of chervil, finely chopped
  • 12g of parsley, finely chopped
5
Place the quails on the table with the front of the bird facing you. Place a small amount of the stuffing into the legs, where the bone would be, roll a small amount of the stuffing into a sausage shape and stuff into the cavity of the birds. Use a trussing needle and butchers twine to sew the quails up. Using more string, tie the bird back up so it looks like an oven-ready bird. Set aside while you prepare the other elements
  • 4 quails, deboned from the bottom up and trimmed of any excess fat, you can ask your butcher to do this for you
6
For the carrots, place the butter in a pan with a lid which is big enough for the carrots to lie lengthways. Set over a medium heat – once the butter starts to foam, add the carrots. Cover, turn down the heat and cook gently for 1 hour. Season to taste
  • pepper
  • 8 small carrots
  • 250g of salted butter
  • salt
7
Neatly peel the parsnips, making sure they keep their shape. Place in a pan, add the butter and cover with cold water and a little salt. Place over a high heat, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer with the lid on for 15–20 minutes, or until tender
  • salt
  • 8 baby parsnips
  • 250g of salted butter
8
Peel the onions, keeping them whole, and blanch in rapidly boiling water. Melt the butter in a pan set over a medium heat. When it starts to foam, add the thyme, bay leaves and onions and cook until they are just tender. Remove the onions from the pan and slice in half
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 12 small onions
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of thyme
9
Preheat a frying pan over a high heat, add a splash of rapeseed oil and cook the onions in the pan cut-side down until browned and caramelised
  • rapeseed oil
10
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
11
To cook the quails, heat an ovenproof frying pan over a high heat. Season the birds with salt and seal all over until golden brown in a dash of oil. Place in the centre of the oven for 10–12 minutes
12
While the quails are cooking, prepare the pearl barley. Place a large pan over a low heat and add 50g of the butter. Once foaming, add the leek and gently cook until soft. Add the pearl barley and white wine and allow the wine to reduce by three-quarters
  • 50g of salted butter
  • 125ml of white wine
  • 100g of pearl barley, soaked overnight in water and drained
  • 1/2 leek, thinly sliced
13
Add enough chicken stock to cover and stir well, letting the pearl barley absorb the stock before adding more. Proceed in this manner until the pearl barley is tender and all of the stock has been absorbed
  • 1l chicken stock, heated to boiling
14
Remove the quails from the oven and leave to rest for 20–30 minutes. Remove the string before serving
15
To finish the pearl barley, beat in the remaining butter and the Parmesan
  • 75g of salted butter
  • 40g of Parmesan, grated
16
When ready to serve, gently reheat the sauce and finish it by adding a splash of white wine, a small knob of butter and the chopped herbs. Stir the herbs into the pearl barley just before serving
  • 1 dash of white wine
  • 10g of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 10g of chervil, chopped
  • 10g of chives, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of chervil, finely chopped
  • 1/4 bunch of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
17
To serve, place a portion of the pearl barley onto the centre of each plate with a whole quail on top. Place two of the carrots, two of the parsnips and the onion halves around the outside of the plate, arranging them to give height to the dish. Spoon the jus over the quail, finish with a few carrot tops and serve
  • carrot tops