A recipe for the keen cook of stuffed roasted quails, and chicken breasts filled with wild mushrooms and served with a leek and fennel puree.


  • For the quail:

  • 2 quails, boned

  • 70 g. Basmati rice

  • 1 tablespoon onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon carrot, finely chopped

  • 1 dessertspoon pistachios, peeled and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon pine nuts

  • 1 dessertspoon flaked almonds

  • 3 coriander seeds, crushed

  • 30 g. butter

  • 70 ml. chicken stock

  • 12 grapes, peeled and seeded

  • For the chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts

  • 50 g. wild mushrooms

  • squeeze of lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon crème fraîche

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 15 g. unsalted butter

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley

  • pepper, salt

  • For the puree:

  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche

  • 3 leeks cut into 1 cm. rounds

  • 1 fennel bulb cut into strips

  • 15 g. unsalted butter

  • pepper, salt, nutmeg


  • 1.

    Preheat the oven to 180C.

  • 2.

    First make the pilaff for the stuffing. Soften the onion and carrot in the butter in a roasting tin. Add the rice and the nuts and coriander and stir till well coated. Pour in the hot stock and cover the tray with greaseproof paper, letting it rest lightly on the surface of the rice. Bake in the oven for approx. 35 minutes until the rice is tender but still a little nutty, topping up with stock if it is drying out.

  • 3.

    Meanwhile, bone the quail.

  • 4.

    When the pilaff is ready, take it out of the oven and allow it to cool.

  • 5.

    Increase the oven heat to 200°C.

  • 6.

    Spread the flattened quail skin-down onto the board. Lift the breasts up, spoon the pilaff onto the skin, put the breasts back on the pilaff. Pull the skin up round the sides and secure by weaving a skewer through. Turn each bird on its side and tie the legs together with string.

  • 7.

    Next prepare the chicken. Remove and discard the stems of the mushrooms and chop the caps finely in a food processor. Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the mushrooms with the lemon juice over high heat until the moisture has evaporated. Add 1 teaspoon crème fraîche with salt and pepper and cook for another five minutes, then allow the mixture to cool.

  • 8.

    Skin the chicken breasts and process one till smooth, then add a dessertspoon of beaten egg, salt and pepper, the parsley and the mushroom purée. Cut the remaining breast lengthways, leaving the two halves attached. Open out the breast and brush with another spoonful of beaten egg then fill with the chicken and mushroom stuffing, reshape and wrap in cling film. Refridgerate until needed.

  • 9.

    To make the puree, clean the leeks and cut into 1cm. rounds then melt them with the fennel in the butter in a covered pan with a tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt till very soft. Process with the crème fraîche to a purée, then sieve into a small pan. Season with freshly ground white pepper and nutmeg. Reheat while the chicken is cooking.

  • 10.

    Roast the quail and the grapes for 20 minutes approximately.

  • 11.

    Steam the chicken for 15 to 20 minutes turning around half way through, remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Now remove the quail and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

  • 12.

    To serve, carve the chicken breasts into three slices, serve the quail whole on the leek pureé.

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