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Quail with prunes and potatoes recipe

Quail with prunes and potatoes recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Vegetable
  • Root vegetables
  • Potato

An elegant meal, which is perfect for formal dinner parties. Whole quails are simmered with potatoes in a fruity, sweet and sour sherry sauce.

8 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 shallot
  • 100ml water
  • 18 prunes, stones removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 large potatoes, cut into wedges
  • 50ml sherry
  • 6 whole quails
  • 75g raisins
  • salt and pepper to taste

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:40min ›Ready in:55min

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Insert a wedge of lemon into each quail, season with salt and pepper, then pan-sear until brown on all sides.
  3. When brown, add the shallots and cook for approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add the potatoes and 100ml of water, then cook over low heat for 20 minutes. The potatoes should still be firm.
  5. Then add the prunes, raisins and sherry; simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Add more water to the pan if needed to get a thin coloured sauce.

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Roast Quail stuffed with Prunes in Armagnac

It is important that you start this recipe three weeks before you plan to serve it, because Daguin says the prunes must soak for a minimum of 21 days. Just place 24 prunes in a sterilized, wide-mouth jar or crock and cover with Armagnac.

Wine recommendations: A Fer Servadou, also known as Mansois or simply Fer. This is lighter on the tannin than other regional choices, which makes it a better partner for the delicate flavors of quail, but it still has enough power and peppery taste to hold up nicely next to those marvelous prunes. From the Marcillac region, choose a 1999 Jean Luc Matha or a 1998 Domaine du Cros from Gaillac, the 2000 Château Lastour.

  • 20 minced shallots
  • 8 branches fresh thyme
  • 8 garlic cloves, prepared in confit (see Garbure recipe)
  • 3 cups duck demi-glace or enriched stock
  • 2 cups Armagnac
  • 24 seedless grapes
  • 8 quail
  • 21 pitted prunes marinated in Armagnac for 3 weeks, liquid reserved
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

To make the sauce: Heat a baking pan over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic confit and thyme and cook until the shallots wilt, about 5 minutes, scraping the any bits in the bottom of the pan all the while. Add veal and duck demi-glace and stir. Deglaze the skillet with the Armagnac and scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat and cook for about 1 hour, until the liquid becomes syrupy. Strain, taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Add grapes.

To make the quail: Preheat oven to 475F to 500F. Season the quail inside and out with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Stuff the quail with 2 prunes each and close the cavity with a toothpick. Place quail in a baking pan and roast for 12 minutes. If they look dry, baste them with a little of the Armagnac/prune juice.

To serve: Place a puddle of the sauce on each of 4 warm plates and place two quail on each.


    • 1 cup fine fresh bread crumbs (from 2 slices firm white sandwich bread)
    • 1/3 cup whole milk
    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 medium celery rib, finely chopped
    • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1/4 pound bacon (about 4 slices), chopped
    • 1/2 cup pitted prunes, chopped
    • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck
    • 1/2 pound ground pork (not lean)
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • Garnish: cooked bacon

Five Spice Chicken with Prunes and Potatoes

Place potatoes into a pot of salted water. Cook for 10 minutes until just cooked. Drain and set aside.

In a large bowl mix the ginger, garlic, Worcestershire, soy, plum sauce, sugar, five spice and star anise. Add onions and chicken. Massage the chicken in the marinade. Leave for at least 30 minutes or overnight if you have time.

Remove chicken from marinade and put into a deep baking dish. Reserve marinade. Place in oven for 20 minutes. Then remove and drain any oil from the bottom of the dish.

Place potatoes and marinade into the dish along with the prunes and chicken. Bake for a further 40 minutes until the chicken is cooked and succulent. Baste once or twice during cooking. Garnish with parsley.

Heat oil in a frying pan to medium heat. Add cabbage and season well. Cover with a lid or tinfoil to help steam the cabbage until cooked and golden. Sprinkle with a little soy sauce.

Tip: Try this marinade on a boneless chicken breast. BBQ or fry and chop into a salad when cool.

Notes about this recipe

+ View Larger photo: Haarala Hamilton and Valerie Berry

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Roast & marinated quail with warm spring vegetable salad

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Mix the marinade ingredients in a shallow bowl and set aside. Season the quail inside and out with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan, then brown the quail well on all sides. Add the butter and baste the quail. Then pop into the oven for 10 mins. Leave the quail to rest for a few mins until just cool enough to handle.

Using a large serrated knife, carefully halve each quail straight down the middle, then submerge in the marinade and leave to rest while you make the rest of the dish.

For the potato salad, mix the crème fraîche, mascarpone, vinegar and spring onions with some salt and pepper. Set aside. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sizzle the potatoes for about 5-10 mins, tossing occasionally until golden.

Tip the hot potatoes into a bowl and fold through the crème fraîche mixture to bind and dress them. Set aside.

Snap the tough ends off the asparagus, peel the stalks, then cut each spear in half at an angle. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil.

Cook the asparagus in the boiling water for 2 mins until tender but retaining a slight crunch. Drain well. Place in a small bowl and, while still steaming hot, spoon over and toss through a couple tbsp of the marinade. You are now ready to serve.

Spoon half the potato salad into the centre of a large dinner plate. Lift the quail from the marinade and lay 2 halves, breasts facing inwards, on top of the potato salad. Scatter the leaves evenly around the edge of the plate. Tuck the asparagus spears in a circular fashion among the salad leaves with the tips pointing out. Coat the quail and drizzle the leaves with a little more of the marinade, then serve.


The marinade can be used to glaze duck breasts or as a dressing for oriental salads. If you want to make it in advance, it will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days – just stir before use.


Oven-ready quail are now available from most good supermarkets as well as butchers and farmers’ markets. Look for plump birds without any bruising or dry patches of skin.


  • 4 whole quail, deboned or spatchcocked
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil
  • One medium shallot, minced (1 1/2-ounces, 40g about 1/4 cup minced)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 small Italian plums (about 8 ounces), pitted and diced
  • 1 cup (235ml) water or quail stock or homemade chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) honey, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter
  • Minced flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

Catalan Veal Stew with Prunes and Potatoes

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 2 H
  • 5 H
  • Serves 4

Ingredients US Metric

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 to 4 1/2 pounds bone-in veal breast or shoulder, meat cut into 1-inch (25-mm) cubes, bones reserved (see Butcher’s Note)
  • 1 medium (9 oz) yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Spanish brandy, Armagnac, or other similar brandy
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • One (16-ounce) can peeled whole tomatoes, drained and finely chopped
  • Two (2-by-1-inch) strips orange zest
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds thin-skinned, waxy potatoes, such as Yukon Gold, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (12-mm) dice
  • 3/4 ounce bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely grated
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 pound prunes, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and drained (see Note)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley


Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

In a flameproof casserole or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid, warm 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, cook the veal and veal bones until golden brown on at least two sides, about 5 minutes per side, reducing the heat if needed. Scoop onto a large plate and set aside.

Let the casserole cool slightly and return it to medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until pale gold at the edges, about 10 minutes. Add the brandy and wine, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes longer, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any browned bits.

Stir in the tomatoes, orange zest, thyme, bay leaf, and 1 tablespoon salt, then add the meat, bones, and any juices accumulated on the plate. Add just enough water to cover the meat (cover the meat only it’s okay if the large bones stick up). Bring to a bare simmer, cover, and move to the oven.

After 20 minutes, reduce the heat to 250°F (120°C) and continue to cook until the meat is somewhat tender but not yet falling apart, about 2 hours more. Adjust the oven temperature as needed to maintain a bare simmer.

Remove the pot from the oven and let rest, uncovered, for at least 15 minutes. Skim off most of the fat collected on the surface. Pick off any meat remaining on the bones and add it to the pot. Discard the bones, thyme sprigs, and bay leaf.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add the potatoes and, using a spatula, toss them until coated with the oil. Reduce the heat to medium and fry the potatoes, tossing them constantly, until they’re golden and crispy on at least two sides and tender within, about 20 minutes, reducing the heat if they threaten to burn. As they finish cooking, sprinkle them with salt to taste. Set the potatoes aside in their skillet.

Return the casserole to the stove top over medium heat and return the stew to a simmer. Stir in the chocolate, cinnamon, cayenne, and drained prunes. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has thickened slightly so that it is midway between a broth and a sauce, about 30 minutes. If necessary, add salt to taste. If the pieces of veal seem a bit dry and firm, break them up somewhat with the back of a wooden spoon to help them absorb the sauce.

To serve, reheat the potatoes to re-crisp them, if necessary, and ladle the stew into large, shallow serving bowls. Top each serving with a handful of potatoes and a sprinkling of the parsley. Serve immediately, passing any remaining potatoes at the table.


Pitted prunes also work well here, so if you like, you can remove the pits. We think the stew looks best with plump, whole fruits with pits. If serving prunes with pits, just be sure to let your guests know.

If you skip the cooking of the potatoes in step 7, you can prepare the stew up to 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Reheat the stew gently, covered, thinning with a bit of water or stock if it seems too thick. Then, while it’s reheating, prepare the potatoes as directed, in step 7. When the stew is hot and the potatoes are cooked through and crisp, simply serve as directed in step 9.

Because veal itself is fairly neutral, when thinking about wines to drink alongside this dish, we looked to the ingredients that surround it. Here, the ripe sweetness of prunes together with tomatoes, cinnamon, and a bit of chocolate steered our choices. As we’ve stated elsewhere, when there’s sweetness in a dish — even just a little — it usually tastes better with a white wine that has a touch of sweetness itself or a red that has a rich core of fruit flavors. In either case, what you don’t want are wines that are bone-dry, austere, or, for reds, tannic. Two whites and one red stood out in our Catalan veal stew tasting: Torres “Viña Esmeralda,” a lightly sweet, tangy, and aromatic Muscat-Gewürztraminer blend from the most important winery in the region R. Lôpez de Heredia “Viña Tondonia” Reserva, a well-aged white Rioja that — surprise — was dry, yet still deliciously mellow with the stew and Castell del Remei “Gotim Bru,” a warm and deeply fruit-filled blend of mostly Tempranillo with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, from the Catalan denominacón of Costers del Segre, west of Barcelona. From outside Spain, choose a moderately rich but easygoing red wine like the Steltzner Claret, a Cabernet-Merlot blend from California’s Napa Valley or, for a white, an off-dry wine like the Robert Mondavi Chenin Blanc.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

Linda Pacchiano

This is a great dish. The veal is incredibly tender and after the lengthy cooking time, some of the cubes will break off and become part of the silky and flavorful sauce. You won't notice the chocolate that is added at the end as it melds with the liquid and takes the dish to another level.

All of that said, this is a cut of meat that won't magically appear on supermarket shelves as I had hoped (I used veal shoulder) and you'll need to have a good butcher to provide you the right cut of veal. I'm fortunate to live only a few miles away from an abattoir which is open to retail customers three days a week. My lovely butcher offered to remove the meat from the bones, cut it into cubes and cut the bones to a size that fit perfectly in my Le Creuset Dutch Oven. That made the dish fairly easy to assemble and in 5 1/2 hours, we had the makings of a phenomenal meal. Definitely worth the time and effort. Like any stew, this dish is equally—if not more, flavorful as a leftover and can be held in the freezer for quite a while.

Kristine N.

This stew was silky, sweet, and savory. The veal was wonderfully tender, and the warm notes from the cinnamon and chocolate paired well with the faint zing of orange. I'd feared the prunes would overpower the flavor, but they didn't, and instead added a smooth richness, akin to balsamic. Crisp potatoes were an excellent contrast atop the soft stew.

A few notes to start—this recipe seemed so unique that I wanted to research ahead of making it. I only found one other record of it outside of Leite's website (referencing Loebel's Meat+Wine), and that was in Honey From a Weed (1986) on The recipe was almost identical, but much more rustic in its direction. I'd wager that Loebel's got their recipe from Patience Gray's book, and I'd encourage you to take a look at it, just to experience the original writing.

Loebel's instructs us to use cayenne pepper, when paprika is normally used in Spain. Gray uses paprika, so that's what I went with (she has 1/2 tsp paprika, so I middled at 1/8 tsp hot, and 1/4 tsp sweet). To make it an authentic Catalan stew, please use paprika. Another interesting difference was that Gray uses 50 grams of BITTER chocolate (more than double what's called for here, but without the sugar). It would be interesting to try this method in the future (I wasn't feeling so daring this time around, and did not want to drift TOO far from the instruction).


If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Quail Eggs in Hash Brown Nests

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These Quail Eggs in Hash Brown Nests garnished with fresh rosemary make for a delicious breakfast that’s bound to impress your family or friends. Perfect for brunch or breakfast.

Just when I thought I’d used the last of the quail eggs my husband bought, he went and got some more! So back to the drawing board for me to try and figure out what else to make with them. I love quail eggs, I think they’re adorable but the thing that really bugs me about them is cracking them open. You really have to be careful so as not to break them, because they’re very tiny.

Well eggs are perfect for breakfast, anyone knows that, so I thought making nests from hash browns would be so cute and adorable. To make the nest is really easy, I basically just grated some potatoes, added an egg and some parmesan cheese for extra flavor and filled the ramekins with the potato mixture, pressing down in the middle to make room for the eggs. I baked the hash browns for about 20 to 30 minutes or until they turned brown. As you can see in this picture I used my small ramekins and I was able to crack 3 eggs in each nest. I probably could have fit 4 eggs in each. So after you crack the eggs just bake for another 5 minutes or so until the eggs are cooked to your preference. I thought it would be a great idea if I ad some rosemary around the edge of the ramekins just for the extra special effect.

Aren’t these the cutest little breakfast nests you’ve ever seen. I think it’s a great idea and they would be so perfect for a brunch. So next time you’re having brunch at your house, try these hash browns nests with eggs.

For more quail egg recipes, try these:

If you try this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #jocooks on Instagram so we can see it. I always love to see what you guys come up with!

  • 2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 Pounds small Yukon gold or yellow potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • 2 small leeks, ends trimmed, sliced lengthwise in half
  • 1 Cup halved or quartered prunes
  • 2 1/2 Cups chicken broth
  • 1 Cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish
  • Salt, freshly ground pepper to taste

Use 1/2 tablespoon of the butter to coat a deep 8-inch square baking dish.

Slice potatoes as thinly as you can. This is a good place to use a mandoline, if you have one.

(If working in advance, drop sliced potatoes into a bowl of cool water to cover, so they do not turn brown. Sliced potatoes will keep in the water for several hours at room temperature.)

Rinse leeks well, and pat dry.

Slice leeks thinly. (Sliced leeks can be refrigerated covered for several hours.)

Melt remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat.

Cook and stir until soft but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir in prunes set mixture aside for up to an hour.

Mix chicken broth, cream and garlic in a large (3-quart) saucepan.

Drain potatoes well add to pan.

Heat over medium until mixture comes to a gentle simmer.

Reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until broth mixture thickens slightly and potatoes are nearly tender, 5 to 10 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer half of the potatoes to the prepared dish.

Spread leek mixture evenly over the potatoes.

Sprinkle with chives, salt and pepper.

Spoon the remaining potato mixture over the leeks. Smooth the top.

Pour any remaining cream mixture over the potatoes just until the liquid is even with the potatoes. (You may have leftover liquid.)

Season with salt and pepper.

Bake uncovered until potatoes are tender (test with a knife) and top is golden, 40 to 60 minutes.

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