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Spiced quail with poppy-seed wafers and cranberry sauce

This recipe makes 10.

You'll need

3 double quail breasts, skin on (ask your butcher to do this for you) 1 tsp thyme To serve: thick mayonnaise To serve: micro-celery   Poppy-seed wafers 20 gm unsalted butter, chilled and diced 75 gm (½ cup) plain flour, plus extra for dusting 1½ tbsp poppy seeds   Cranberry sauce 100 gm dried cranberries 30 ml red wine vinegar 30 gm white sugar ¼ tsp ground allspice


  • 01
  • Heat a large saucepan of water to 62C and line a baking tray with plastic wrap. Place quail on tray skin-side down in a row and slightly overlapping, season with salt to taste and scatter with thyme. Roll up quail in plastic wrap lengthways and tie ends to form a tight sausage shape about 3.5cm in diameter and 16cm long (allowing for ends to be trimmed). Poach in saucepan at 62C until opaque and cooked through (2 hours). Remove and cool slightly, then refrigerate to chill (1 hour). Trim ends to remove plastic, then slice quail into 1.5cm-thick discs.
  • 02
  • For poppy-seed wafers, process butter, flour, poppy seeds, ¼ tsp fine salt and 1½ tbsp chilled water in a food processor to form a dough (2-2½ minutes). Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate to rest (2 hours). Preheat oven to 175C and line a baking tray with baking paper. Roll dough to 1mm thick, cut out 10 discs with a 4.5cm round cutter and bake on tray until pale golden (10-12 minutes). Cool on a wire rack.
  • 03
  • For cranberry sauce, bring all ingredients and 70ml water to the boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring continuously, then reduce heat to low and simmer until mixture has a thin jam-like consistency (25-30 minutes). Refrigerate until required.
  • 04
  • To serve, top poppy-seed wafers with a little mayonnaise, then a slice of quail, a little cranberry sauce and micro-celery.

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