Quail wrapped in pancetta with mushroom and rice stuffing is one of the most delicious quail recipes I’ve ever made. It wasn’t difficult to make and the results are impressive. Quail are small bird, similar to chicken, and they make an elegant dish. It is important, though, to note that they are not so elegant when eating them. As quail are such tiny birds, with lots of little bones, they are best eaten with one’s hands. With this in mind, be sure to have finger bowls within easy reach. If you’re cooking for guests, definitely encourage them to dive right it. After all, it’s all part of the experience. ?
Never eaten quail?
If you haven’t tried quail before, then this recipe is a must for you. These quails are delicious, rich in flavour and work beautifully served as an entree or as a main. As a matter of fact, this recipe really creates two dishes. The mushroom and rice used for the stuffing can be used to create a tasty risotto. And that is what I did.
The recipe calls for the use of chicken livers. Whilst In know that this may not appeal to the masses and while I admit that I had thoughts about eliminating this from the recipe, I knew it wouldn’t do it justice. The livers absolutely add a beautiful flavour to this dish and I’m glad I kept them in. After all this recipe was given to me by a dear family friend who is a fabulous home cook. Firstly, it’s traditional, secondly authentic and thirdly rustic. Not only does this make it a wonderfully unique dish, but also an impressive one.
Once upon a time, I used to think that quail were difficult to make, but, actually the reality is quite the contrary. Once the stuffing is made, it’s simple. Just stuff, wrap and roast. TOO EASY!
It’s all in the stuffing
The combination of flavours in this dish really is amazing. Firstly, my secret ingredient is the chicken livers. It is these chicken livers that actually add a multi-dimensional depth of flavour. I kid you not ?. So, let me share this wonderful recipe with you so that you can recreate this for your guests. I know they’re going to be truly impressed.
Before you get started, place a pot of water onto the stove, bring it to the boil and cook your rice (half cooked). You don’t want to overcook it as the rice will cook further during the roasting phase. Allow to cool and set aside.
Place the butter and oil in a pan together with the onion, garlic, mushroom and chorizo. Cook for a few 2-3 minutes.
Add the chopped chicken liver and rice and cook it for a further 5 minutes. Add half a cup of water to ensure the mixture does not dry out.
Allow the mixture to cool then begin stuffing each bird with the rice stuffing, then wrap each quail with the pancetta. I’ve placed a tooth pick in each of them to ensure the mixture does not fall out whilst roasting.
Place in a roasting pan, add thyme and a drizzling of olive oil over each quail. Place in a preheated 180°C oven and roast for approximately 1.5 hours. Be sure to turn each quail over during the cooking process so that each side is nicely browned and cooked evenly.
Now here is the added bonus! This recipe uses enough rice to make a mushroom risotto from the left over rice. Since we are all about cooking simply, satisfying food and food that is easy, what could be better? It goes without saying that the mushroom risotto makes a perfect accompaniment for the quails. After all the quails have been filled, you will have extra rice.
Here is what I did with it.
15 minutes before you’re ready to take the quails out of the oven, place the rice into a pot (preferable one with a lid). Add a cup of chicken or vegetable stock and allow it to simmer until the rice has absorb all the liquid. Be sure to taste the rice to ensure it is cooked. Keep adding more stock until it has cooked through.
See, amazingly easy, don’t you think? The risotto perfectly compliments the quail because it’s using the same ingredients only with a more intense flavour. You’ll be amazed at how those chicken livers have really boosted the flavours of this mushroom risotto.
LOOKING FOR MORE?
Great! Be sure to check out more traditional Italian recipes such as these amazingly good Italian Style Donuts
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #SUNDAYCALM. I’d love to see what you cook!
Quail wrapped in pancetta with mushroom rice stuffing
- 6 quails
- 250 g chicken liver chopped
- 3 tbsp chorizo chopped
- 5 button mushrooms chopped
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 onion
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1.5 cups rice
- 6 slices pancetta
- 4 sprigs thyme
- Wash, dry and trim the quail, removing any internal organs.
- In a pot of water, bring to the boil, add the rice and cook for 5 minutes. You don't want to cook the rice fully as this will cook further in the oven. Set aside.
- Place the olive oil and butter in a pan. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms and chorizo cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the chicken liver and cook a further 5 minutes or until the chicken livers are browned.
- Add the rice and cook for 1 minute to combine. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Using a teaspoon, fill the cavity of the quail with the stuffing, securing the opening with a tooth pick or use string to tie up the legs. This keeps the stuffing inside during the cooking process.
- Wrap each quail with a slice of pancetta and place into a baking dish.
- Sprinkle with thyme and a drizzling of olive oil.
- Bake in a preheated oven of 180°C for 1.5 hours turning the quails several times during the cooking process. This will assist in roasting the quail and pancetta evenly.