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Quail and foie gras cromesquis with braised lentils

You'll need

6 spinach leaves, stalks trimmed 80 gm cooked foie gras (see note), chopped 4 jumbo quail (about 200gm each; see note), boned 100 gm pig's caul fat (see note), soaked overnight in cold water, drained and squeezed to remove excess water 1 egg, lightly beaten with 50ml milk, for brushing 100 gm panko crumbs (see note) 200 ml grapeseed oil 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped To serve: watercress sprigs, frisée and chervil sprigs   Braised lentils 100 gm butter, coarsely chopped 1 onion, finely diced 1 carrot, finely diced ½ leek, finely diced 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 200 gm small green lentils 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock 30 ml good-quality balsamic vinegar   Foie gras sauce 100 ml chicken stock 100 ml pouring cream 20 gm cooked foie gras (see note) 1 tsp lemon juice


  • 01
  • Blanch spinach leaves until just wilted (30 seconds), drain, refresh, drain again, squeeze out excess water. Spread out leaves on a work surface to form a rectangle. Place foie gras in centre, roll to enclose and refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • Lay two boned quail skin-side down on a work surface to form a square. Remove breast meat and leg meat from remaining two quail (discard skin) and use to fill gaps in the quail square, then season to taste. Place spinach and foie gras cylinder on quail square, roll to form a cylinder, then wrap in caul fat. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then foil, and poach in a saucepan of barely simmering water (55C) over low heat for 40 minutes. Drain, refresh, drain and refrigerate until required. Quail galantine will keep refrigerated for two days.
  • 03
  • For braised lentils, melt half the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add onion, carrot, leek and garlic and stir occasionally until very tender (8-10 minutes). Add lentils and half the stock, partially cover, bring to the simmer and cook, topping up with remaining stock if necessary, until lentils are just tender (25-30 minutes). Season to taste and keep warm. Just before serving, add balsamic vinegar and remaining butter and stir to combine.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, for foie gras sauce, bring stock to the boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, cook until reduced by half (2-3 minutes), add cream and simmer until reduced by half (2-3 minutes). Add foie gras, process with a hand-held blender, then add lemon juice, season to taste and keep warm.
  • 05
  • Unwrap galantine, trim ends (discard) and slice into 6 even rounds. Season to taste, dip in eggwash, then panko crumbs, shaking off excess in between. Heat oil and butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add crumbed rounds and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden (4-5 minutes).
  • 06
  • To serve, divide lentils among plates, top each with a cromesqui, drizzle with foie gras sauce, scatter with watercress, frisée and chervil and serve hot.
Note Foie gras is available cooked and vacuum-packed or in jars or cans from French grocers and select delicatessens. Ask your butcher to bone the quail, or buy quail butterflied and remove the leg bones. Pig's caul fat is available from select butchers; order it ahead. Panko crumbs are available from Japanese grocers.

This recipe is from the July 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

A cromesqui is a small croquette, often with a liquid centre. In Dietmar Sawyere's recipe, foie gras provides the soft centre. "The more foie gras the better as far as I am concerned," he says, "but you can substitute chicken livers if you prefer." You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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