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Quail ballotine with freekeh, cranberries and goat’s cheese

You'll need

4 quail, butterflied, wings and thigh bones removed 24 thin slices flat mild pancetta 60 gm butter, coarsely chopped 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 1 leek (white part only), finely chopped ½ carrot, finely chopped 1 golden shallot, finely chopped 4 thyme sprigs 750 ml (3 cups) hot chicken stock 200 gm cracked freekeh ½ Granny Smith apple, finely chopped 40 gm dried cranberries Finely grated rind of 1 lemon 1 preserved lemon, flesh discarded, rind rinsed and finely chopped 2 tbsp finely chopped chives and flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve 40 ml olive oil 100 gm soft goat’s cheese   Chicken mousse 20 gm butter, coarsely chopped 3 golden shallots, finely chopped ½ garlic clove, finely chopped 100 gm skinless chicken breast, coarsely chopped ½ egg, lightly beaten 100 ml pouring cream 10 gm mixed dried mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, drained, finely chopped


  • 01
  • For chicken mousse, heat butter in a frying pan over medium heat, add shallot and garlic, stir occasionally until tender (5-6 minutes) then set aside to cool. Process chicken and egg in a food processor until smooth (1-2 minutes), then slowly add cream and process until combined. Transfer to a large bowl with shallot mixture, stir in mushroom and season to taste. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm round nozzle and refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • Place each quail between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a rolling pin to an even thickness. Place 6 pancetta slices on a sheet of plastic wrap, slightly overlapping longest sides. Place a quail skin-side down lengthways across pancetta, pipe chicken mousse along centre of quail, season to taste and use plastic wrap to carefully roll into a cylinder (starting with pancetta ends and rolling away from you). Tie ends to secure. Repeat with remaining pancetta, quail and chicken mousse. Wrap each ballotine tightly in foil to seal, then poach in a large saucepan of simmering water in 2 batches until just firm (weight with a plate to keep submerged; 16-18 minutes). Refresh and set aside.
  • 03
  • Meanwhile, heat 40gm butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add celery, leek, carrot, shallot and thyme and stir occasionally until tender (6-8 minutes). Add stock and freekeh, bring to the simmer, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer until tender and liquid is absorbed (20 minutes). Spread on a large tray and set aside to cool. Heat remaining butter in a small frying pan over medium heat, add apple and stir occasionally until just tender (2-3 minutes), then set aside to cool. Just before serving, stir apple, cranberries, lemon rind, preserved lemon and herbs into freekeh mixture and season to taste.
  • 04
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, place a round of baking paper inside pan, add oil and cook ballotines, turning occasionally, until golden and warmed through (6-8 minutes), then thickly slice and serve with freekeh mixture, scattered with goat’s cheese and extra herbs.
This recipe is from the February 2013 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

“I’d love to attempt the quail ballotine from Brisbane’s Stokehouse. Will you oblige?”
Peter Maher, via email

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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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