Saturday, 15 February 2014

' QUAIL , poached PEAR & SWEET POTATO .'

De-boned double breast of Quail roasted , Sweet potato & pear puree , Brandy Poached mini Pear , Quail jus , fresh pear salad , pea greens and micro sage leaves.

                  While out browsing the deli shops and Italian grocers the other day I made a special trip to this particular store that sells a small range of gourmet products and quail was what I was after. They never let me down and I walked out with some white asparagus six birds at $4 AUS. each. The pears in this dish are a mini variety I purchased while doing the weekly groceries. They were labeled 'paradise pears' by Zahra farms, Yenda NSW. I'm suggesting they are some kind of new season pear variety.      
                  The preparations for this dish are listed by name below and are in no order to follow as I prepared all the elements first and cooked them all at the same time its harder to explain in writing.
  QUAIL - The quail was first cut down the breast plate and turned over back side up and flattened. The legs from the top of thighs were removed as to the wings, leaving just the the double breast or torso. Using a sharp knife I ran the blade between the breast fillet and the rib cage and cut the meat away from the ribs up to the back bone and doing the same to the other breast fillet. Once I had achieved this I flipped the quail over so it was on its back and with the rib cage now free but the back bone still attached I used a pair of scissors to cut between the backbone and the skin and little flesh their is. I now removed the whole backbone and ribs from the bird leaving behind a de-boned perfect, skin on double breast fillet of fresh quail meat. This was then rinsed under cold water and checked for remaining bones before being pat dry. I then filled the pocket between the two breasts with sage leaves, folding the breasts back together I placed three toothpicks at the base of the meat to hold the the two fillets together while cooking. In a hot pan with some olive oil I placed the seasoned quail skin side down and cooked to brown the skin and seal the meat. Once the meat lifted easily without force and was browned I turned it over and cooked for a further 5-6 minutes. I then placed the quail into a roasting dish with a wire rack with water at the bottom of the pan and into a 160 deg.c. oven and baked the quail until the juices changed from running red to running brown, well I like mine with no blood anyway the cooking is preferential. The quail was then removed and allowed to rest before pulling the toothpicks out. I retained the juices from the roasting pan to make the jus.        
   JUS - I placed the cooking liquid, skimmed of fat retained from roasting in to a saucepan and simply brought the stock or jus ( juice from itself ) to a gently simmer and reduced the sauce to a thick syrup.    
  PUREE - I made the puree by simply placing cooked sweet potato, chopped fresh pear and a little cream in a blender and processing to a smooth consistency before being reheated when served.                    
  SALAD - The pear salad is a simple brunoise of summer pear dressed with extra virgin cold pressed olive oil and lemon juice with a seasoning of cracked pepper medley and smoked sea salt.                      
  PEAR - I poached the pear by first bringing some Cretan white sweet brandy made of honey, thyme and distilled grape must, a little water, sugar, honey, thyme and lemon juice and zest to the boil and then removed from the heat while I prepared the pear by peeling and trimming a slice from the bottom of the pear so it can stand freely. This was then placed into the brandy syrup and returned back to the stove and brought to a simmer . The pear was then ladled with the syrup and poached with a lid on the saucepan until tender and translucent, spooning syrup over the pear at regular intervals during the poaching, for a pear of this size it only took about 15-20 minutes. The pear was then removed and set aside and allowed to cool before being plated.


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