Steamed and fried quail with aioli

By Derek Dammann
  • Facebook
  • Tweet
  • Pinterest
  • Email
  • Print
SERVES
4

Ingredients

QUAIL

  • 4 5-ounce (142 g) quails, spatchcocked
  • 1 pound (454 g) kosher salt, divided
  • 1 orange, zest
  • 3 sprigs thyme, leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ star anise, toasted
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) black peppercorns
  • 4 cups (960 ml) oil, for frying

FOUR-SPICE MIXTURE

  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) black peppercorns
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3.5 ml) cloves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (22 ml) nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 cups (590 ml) potato starch
  • Kosher salt

AIOLI

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) light vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

QUAIL

  1. In a mortar, combine 1/4 kosher salt, orange zest, thyme leaves, bay leaf, garlic, star anise, and peppercorns.
  2. With a pestle, crush the ingredients to a rough powder and combine with the remaining salt to make a cure mixture.
  3. Using butcher shears or a knife, remove the backbone from the quails.
  4. Season the quails thoroughly with the cure mixture.
  5. Refrigerate for two hours uncovered.
  6. Rinse the cure off the quails.
  7. Using a stove top steamer, steam the quail for twenty minutes, cool to room temperature.

FOUR-SPICE MIX

  1. In a dry pan over medium-heat, toast cinnamon, peppercorns, and cloves.  Remove from pan and cool.
  2. Grind toasted spices in a spice grinder.
  3. In a bowl, combine ground spices, nutmeg, and potato starch.
  4. Season with kosher salt.

AIOLI

  1. In a blender, combine the egg, lemon juice, garlic, and Dijon mustard, blend on low.
  2. While blending, slowly drizzle the oil into the mixture to make a mayonnaise.
  3. When thick, season with salt and pepper.  Reserve.

TO FINISH

  1. In a large heavy pot, heat frying oil to 400 F (205 C).
  2. In a large, bowl dredge the quail in four spice mix.
  3. Fry quails in batches for two minutes per batch or until crispy.  Drain.
  4. Let rest for five minutes and serve with aioli.

Watch Cook Like a Chef Fridays at 8:30 pm ET