Quail is perfectly sized for last-minute entertaining.
- 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 180 ml amontillado sherry
- 80 gm dried figs, coarsely chopped
- 200 gm fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
- 12 jumbo quail, tunnel-boned (see note)
- 2 tbsp raw sugar
- 10 figs, halved lengthways
- 125 ml amontillado sherry
- 1Heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan, add onion and sauté over low heat until caramelised (7-8 minutes), add 60ml sherry and reduce by half (4-5 minutes), then stir in dried figs and breadcrumbs, season to taste and set aside to cool completely.
- 2Preheat oven to 200C. Season quail cavities, spoon breadcrumb mixture into each, tie legs together with kitchen string. Heat remaining olive oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium heat, add quail, turn occasionally until browned all over (4-5 minutes), transfer to an oven and roast until just cooked through (8-10 minutes). Remove quail from pan, keep warm.
- 3Meanwhile, for caramelised figs, sprinkle sugar on cut-side of figs and place, sugared-side down, in a frying pan. Cook over medium heat until figs start to caramelise (1-2 minutes), deglaze pan with sherry, set aside.
- 4Add remaining 120ml sherry to quail pan with caramelised fig pan juices, simmer over medium heat until reduced to a thick syrup (2-3 minutes), season to taste. Serve quail immediately with caramelised figs, drizzled with pan juices.
Note You'll need to order tunnel-boned quail in advance from your butcher.