Quail in fragrant rice with dates, ginger and pearl onions

Quail in fragrant rice with dates, ginger and pearl onions

By
From
Saha
Serves
4
Photographer
Matt Harvey

This is a gorgeous, golden-hued pilaf with a touch of sweetness and a slightly peppery, ginger buzz.

Fragrant rice

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
30ml olive oil
50g dried vermicelli noodles
400g medium-grain rice, washed and drained
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
600ml good-quality chicken stock
8 x 200g jumbo quail, cut into quarters
salt and baking powder
50ml olive oil
1 leek, finely diced, white part only
2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
1 thumb fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
10 pearl onions, peeled and halved
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
500ml good-quality chicken stock
1 tomato, seeded and diced
2 dates, seeded and diced
1 lemon, juiced

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Use your hands to roughly break the vermicelli noodles into the hot oil. Stir vigorously, until the yellow threads deepen to a golden brown. Add the rice to the pan and stir so the grains are well coated with oil. Add the spices and stock and bring the pan to the boil. Cover and turn down the heat. Cook for 18 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated.
  2. While the rice is cooking, prepare the quail. Trim them of their necks and wing tips then split each bird in half down the backbone and neatly slice out the breastplate (sternum) in the middle. Season lightly. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan, then drop in the quail pieces. Turn them around quickly in the oil until they colour, then take them out of the pan and put them to one side while you make the sauce.
  3. Put the leek, garlic, ginger and onions into the same pan and sauté for a few minutes until they start to soften. Add the spices and stock and stir everything together well. Cover the pan and simmer gently until the pearl onions are tender and everything has deepened to a golden yellow.
  4. Return the quail pieces to the pan with the tomato and dates and season with salt and pepper. Bring the pan back to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the quail pieces have cooked through – it will only take a few minutes. Squeeze in the lemon juice.
  5. To serve, pile the rice onto a large serving platter and arrange the quail pieces on top. Spoon the sauce and vegetables over and around. Accompany with plenty of yoghurt.
Tags:
Saha
Malouf
Lucy
Greg
Lebanon
Lebanese
Syria
Syrian
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