Quail Levant

Quail Levant

Prepelica na levantski

By
From
Dalmatia
Serves
4

As its name suggests, this recipe comes from the Levant in the eastern Mediterranean region. Maybe a long time ago, someone such as the Croatian-born merchant Marco Polo ate this dish somewhere in Constantinople or Alexandria, loved it and decided to make it when he returned home. Many centuries have passed since then, but this dish has remained in our culture. Its name is a reminder of its origins.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 quails, cleaned
8 slices pancetta
butcher's twine
100 grams unsalted butter, plus extra for panfrying the bread
4 preserved vine leaves
100ml chicken or vegetable stock
100ml white wine
200 grains yoghurt
4 slices bread
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Stuffing

Quantity Ingredient
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 brown onion, chopped
150 grams beef, minced
or pork
50 grams sultanas
1 slice bread, soaked in milk
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Method

  1. To make the stuffing, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over high heat and sauté the onion for a couple of minutes. Set the onion aside to cool.
  2. Put the minced meat, sultanas, bread soaked in milk (squeeze the excess milk out of the bread first), lemon zest, parsley and onion in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Mix well until all the ingredients are incorporated, about 5 minutes
  3. Stuff the quails with the filling and cover them with pancetta slices. Tie the quails with butcher’s twine and sauté them in the butter in a saucepan over high heat until golden brown, about 2 minutes each side. Remove the quails from the pan, untie the twine and remove the pancetta. Wrap the quails in the vine leaves and return to the same saucepan. Pour over the chicken stock and white wine, cover with a lid, and cook over medium heat for about 15–20 minutes.
  4. The quails are cooked if the juices run clear when the meat is pierced in the thickest part of the leg. Take them out of the pan. If there is too much liquid left in the pan, boil rapidly until the liquid has almost completely reduced, then stir in the yoghurt to make the sauce.
  5. The quails are cooked if the juices run clear when the meat is pierced in the thickest part of the leg. Take them out of the pan. If there is too much liquid left in the pan, boil rapidly until the liquid has almost completely reduced, then stir in the yoghurt to make the sauce.
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