Quails stuffed with rose petals

Serves 10 Starters and mains

Quails  Stuffed 206

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Ingredients

  • 10 quails or poussins

For the stuffing

  • 1 large onion, grated
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2tbsp butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ¼tsp turmeric
  • 200g rice
  • zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • 500ml unsalted chicken stock or water
  • 3tbsp dried rose petals
  • 15g dried barberries, washed, or cranberries
  • 25g dried pitted cherries
  • 2tbsp sugar
  • 25g raw pistachios, ground or in slivers

For the basting sauce

  • 125ml orange juice
  • 1tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 3tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • pinch of saffron threads, pounded then dissolved in 2tbsp hot water
  • 2tbsp butter or oil

To roast

  • melted butter or olive oil

Method

To serve: fresh and dried rose petals slivered pistachios

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/ Gas 6 or 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 if using poussins. For the stuffing, fry the onion in the oil and butter. Add the chopped garlic right before the onion turns translucent and a little golden. Add the turmeric, 1½tsp salt and ¼tsp white pepper, stir for a minute, then add the rice. Stir this mixture for another minute or two. Add the lemon zest and juice and stock or water; cover, cook the mixture on a high heat for a minute or two, then lower the heat and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the rose petals and take the mixture off the heat and let it cool, then add the dried fruits, sugar and pistachios and set aside. For the basting sauce, mix the orange juice, pomegranate molasses, lemon or lime juice, saffron liquid and butter or oil in a small pan. Warm up until just heated through. Wash and pat dry the birds, then rub or brush with some of the basting sauce. Take a roasting pan and place a rack over it. Stuff the birds with the rice mixture and sew the ends closed. Alternatively, you can use half of an already squeezed lemon or lime, or an orange wedge, the skin-side out, and gently press it into place. Rub a little salt and pepper and olive oil or melted butter on the skin of the birds, put them on the rack and roast them in the oven. Pour the basting sauce over the birds after they’ve been in the oven for 10 minutes. Baste a little occasionally until the birds are beautiful and golden; 30-35 minutes for quails, 50-55 minutes for poussins. Remove from the oven and allow them to rest for about 10 minutes. Place them in a serving dish and scatter with fresh and dried rose petals and slivered pistachios.

Recipe and photograph taken from Pomegranates and Roses by Ariana Bundy, photography by Lisa Linder (Simon & Schuster, £25). To buy the book at a special price, go to http://foodandtravel.com/offers-and-competitions
Quails  Stuffed 206
Recipe and photograph taken from Pomegranates and Roses by Ariana Bundy, photography by Lisa Linder (Simon & Schuster, £25). To buy the book at a special price, go to http://foodandtravel.com/offers-and-competitions

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