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Spice-crusted quail with buttered rice and figs

Quail make for a very hands-on meal, but this is all part of the fun. If you wish to dine a little more elegantly you can ask your butcher to partly bone the birds by removing the ribcage.

You'll need

8 butterflied quail (about 900gm) ¼ cup olive oil 6 figs   Buttered rice 100 gm butter, coarsely chopped 115 gm vermicelli, broken into 4cm lengths 400 gm basmati rice   Baharat spice mix 1 tsp black peppercorns 1 tsp coriander seeds 1 small cinnamon stick, roughly chopped ½ tsp whole cloves ½ tsp ground allspice 2 tsp cumin seeds 1 tsp cardamom pods ½ nutmeg, finely grated


  • 01
  • For buttered rice, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add vermicelli and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Add rice, 1 tsp salt and 1 litre water and stir to combine. Cover and bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 12 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff up the rice with a fork.
  • 02
  • For baharat spice mix, grind all the spices in a spice grinder or with a mortar to a fine powder. Store in an airtight container for up to 8 weeks.
  • 03
  • Preheat oven to 220C. Place quail flesh-side up on a tray and pat dry with paper towels, then turn and season skin with sea salt and baharat. Heat oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over high heat, add quail skin-side up and fry for 1 minute, then transfer to the oven and cook until golden brown (about 15 minutes). Serve with rice and torn figs.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

Spicy young grenache.

Featured in

Dec 2015

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