Quail pan-fried on fig leaves

Quail pan-fried on fig leaves

Bildirgin tavasi ve ingir yapragi

By
From
Turkish Meze
Serves
4
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

If you haven’t fiddled around butterflying a quail before, ask your butcher, ‘Please mister, can you help with this? You’re the best butcher in the world.’

The quail in this recipe are pan-fried between layers of fig leaves, but if you don’t have any, just cook the quail without them. If you’re lucky enough to have some fresh figs, gently break them in half, then throw them into the warm juices in the pan with a generous teaspoon of sugar while the quail is resting. Warm the figs through, serve with the quail and you’re in heaven.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 quail
80ml olive oil
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses, see note
8 fresh fig leaves
Warm lentil salad, to serve

Method

  1. Working with one at a time, place the quail on a chopping board, breast side down. Using a sharp knife or kitchen scissors, cut all the way down along each side of the backbone, to release the backbone. Discard the backbone (or reserve to use when making chicken stock).
  2. Turn the quail over. Using the heel of your palm, firmly press down along the breast bone to flatten the bird. Remove the small sharp rib bones, or work the flesh off the bones with your fingers, to pull the breast cage out.
  3. Rub sea salt into each quail, then massage the olive oil and pomegranate molasses into the skin. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  4. Place four fig leaves on the bottom of a large non-stick frying pan. Lay the quail on top, then cover them with the remaining fig leaves.
  5. Cover the pan and cook over high heat for 4–5 minutes. Turn the quail over and fry on the other side for a further 4–5 minutes, or until just cooked, being careful not to overcook them.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and leave covered. Allow the quail to rest for about 5 minutes.
  7. Serve the quail with warm juices from the pan, and warm lentil salad.

Note

  • Pomegranate molasses is made from the dark red juice of the pomegranate fruit, which has been cooked down to form a thick, tangy syrup. It is available from Middle Eastern grocers and fine food stores.
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