food, Recipes

Cinnamon-Glazed Quail with Couscous Salad

Aubrey Jonsson


For the salad

1 cup couscous

2 garlic cloves, crushed

¼ cup almonds, roughly chopped

1 orange, zested in fine strips and juiced

1 pinch saffron threads

1 cup boiling water

½ red pepper, finely diced

½ yellow pepper, finely diced

1t chopped fresh mint

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

caramel cashew nuts or pine nuts, optional, to serve

200g blanched fava beans, to serve

For the courgette purée

1kg courgettes

ice water

50g butter

3 garlic cloves

4t chopped parsley

lemon olive oil

Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the cinnamon glazed quail

1t ground cinnamon

50ml balsamic glaze

100ml orange blossom honey

1 coriander bunch

1 baby basil bunch

1 lemon, zested in fine strips and juiced

Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning

4 large marinated quails

2T lemon olive oil

pea tendrils, edible flowers, blanched baby radishes and chickpeas, to garnish


Preheat the oven to 190°C. Place the couscous in a bowl with the garlic, almonds, and orange. Soak the saffron threads in one cup of boiling water for two minutes before pouring it over the couscous. Stir to combine, cover the bowl with clingfilm and let it sit for 10 minutes until the water is absorbed. Remove the plastic and fluff the couscous with a fork to separate the grains. Stir in the vegetables and herbs and season well with salt and pepper. Set it aside to cool completely.

Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Peel the courgettes, keeping the green skins to one side. Cut the courgettes into thin slices. Blanch the courgette slices in the boiling water and then refresh immediately in ice water.

In a heavy bottom pan melt the butter, add the garlic and sautée the sliced courgettes for 10 minutes. Discard the garlic and purée the courgettes in a food processor.

Transfer the purée to a saucepan. Purée the courgette skins and parsley, then add that purée into the white purée – this will ensure a bright green colour. If it is watery cook it over a low heat and keep stirring, so it does not stick, until it thickens. Add a bit of lemon olive oil and season with the salt and pepper. Set the purée aside.

To make the cinnamon glaze, place the cinnamon, balsamic, honey, coriander, baby basil leaves, lemon zest and lemon juice in a saucepan. Stir continuously and bring it to a boil, then remove it from the heat and season to taste with freshly ground salt and black pepper. Set aside.

Prepare the quail by rinsing and drying it, inside and out, with paper towels. Brush the cinnamon glaze on the quails. Place each piece breast side up in a roasting pan. Drizzle lemon olive oil on top and season with salt and pepper. Roast for five to 10 minutes until the juices run clear when a small knife is inserted into the thigh meat.

Rest the meat for three minutes before carving. Serve the quail on the couscous salad with a sprinkle of caramel cashew nuts or pine nuts and fava beans. Add the courgette purée and decorate with the garnishing ingredients.


Originally published in HL July 2014