Sunday, January 15, 2017

Quail with Roasted Pearl Onion Yogurt Sauce, Portobello Rice and Braised Swiss Chard

     A Modern Quail Entrée with Classic Accompaniments!
     For today's recipe, the goal was to create a modern Alpine ski lodge château health cuisine style quail entrée with classic influences.  Roasted game birds, like quail, appeal to those who seek healthy alternative meat options.
     Sauces made with Goat Milk Yogurt have been popular in in restaurants that feature modern French health cuisine.  Goat Milk Yogurt contains no fat and it has a zesty flavor.  Roasted Pearl Onions have a sweet savory flavor that adds balance to a yogurt sauce.  This sauce tastes very nice with roasted quail.
     Classic Braised Swiss Chard appeals to fans of modern French health cuisine.  Leafy Greens, like Swiss Chard, have a high nutritional value and the braising technique makes the nutrients easily available when digested.  Adding a small amount of fat (lardons or bacon) provides lipids that are essential in a cold winter climate.  Gluten free starch accompaniments are en vogue these days and rice is a natural choice.  Portobello Rice has a rich savory mushroom flavor.  The mushrooms add plenty of high nutritional value too.      
     Portobello Rice:
     This recipe yields 1 1/4 cups.  (2 to 3 portions)
     This is a simple boiled rice recipe!  
     Step 1:  Place 1/2 cup of water in a sauce pot over medium high heat.
     Add 1/2 cup light chicken stock.
     Bring the liquid to a boil.
     Step 2:  Add 1/2 cup of Long Grain White Rice.
     Add 1/3 cup of finely chopped Portobello Mushroom.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 pinch of Herbs de Provence.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
     Return the liquid to a boil.
     Step 3:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Cover the pot with a lid.
     Slowly simmer and steam the rice till it is fully cooked.  (About 20 minutes.)
     Keep the rice warm on a stove top or in a 135ºF bain marie.

     Braised Swiss Chard:
     This recipe yields about 1 1/3 cups.  (2 petite portions)
     Step 1:  Heat a deep sauté pan (sauteuse pan) over medium heat.
     Add 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped smoked bacon.
     Add 1 small shallot that is thin sliced.
     Add 1 minced garlic clove.
     Sauté till the shallot turns clear in color.
     Step 2:  Add 1/2 bunch of Swiss Chard that is rough chopped.  (about 6 medium size leaves)
     Sauté the chard till it wilts.
     Step 3:  Add 1/2 tablespoon of red wine vinegar.
     Add 1 1/2 cups of light chicken stock.
     Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
     Bring the liquid to a gentle boil.
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to medium low heat.
     Gently simmer and reduce till almost all of the braising liquid evaporates.
     Keep the Braised Swiss Chard warm on a stove top or in a 135ºF bain marie.

     Quail with Roasted Pearl Onion Yogurt Sauce:
     This recipe yields 2 roasted quail.  (1 full portion)
     Select a European style Herbs de Provence that has no lavender flowers in the mixture for this recipe.  American style Herbs de Provence usually has lavender flowers in the blend.  French Herbs de Provence usually has lavender leaves in the blend and this is better for roasted meats.    
     Step 1:  Select 2 whole quail.
     Use short bamboo skewers to pin the legs to the lower end of the quail breasts.
     Lightly brush the quail with blended olive oil.
     Lightly season with sea salt and black pepper.
     Sprinkle 1 or 2 pinches of Herbs de Provence on each quail.
     Step 2:  Place 2 thick slices of onion in a sauté pan.  (About 1/4" thick.)
     Set the seasoned quail on the onion slices.
     *The sliced onion elevates the quail and protects the bottom half of the quail from scorching.  The roasted onion slices will later be used to flavor the sauce.  A sauté pan is used for the roasting because the sauce will be made with the pan juices.  Keep in mind that the handle of the sauté pan will be hot long after it comes out of the oven!
     Place 10 peeled pearl onions in the pan.
     Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock to the pan.
     Step 3:  Place pan in a 350ºF oven.
     Roast the quail till they are fully cooked and a few golden highlights appear.
     *Roasting quail beyond "well done" can cause the meat to become dry and chewy.  Take care not to roast the quail beyond the point of just being fully cooked.
     Step 4:  Remove the pan from the oven.
     Remove the quail from the pan and set them on a wire screen roasting rack over a drip pan.
     Keep the quail warm on a stove top.
     Step 5:  Remove the roasted pearl onions and set them aside.
     Step 6:  Place the sauté pan with the onion slices and pan jus over a burner set to medium heat.    
     *Remember that the sauté pan handle is hot from being in the oven!  Wear an oven mitt when grabbing the hot handle.
     Add 1/4 cup of dry white wine to the roasted onions and pan juices.
     Rapidly simmer and reduce till only 2 to 3 tablespoons of jus remains in the pan.
     Step 7:  Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
     *Too high of a heat will cause the yogurt to break and separate.
     Add about 1/2 cup of goat milk yogurt (Greek Yogurt).
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Stir till the sauce warms and becomes smooth.
     Gently simmer and reduce till the sauce is a medium thin consistency that can coat a spoon.
     Step 8:  Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer into a ceramic cup.
     Return the reserved roasted pearl onions to the sauce.
     Keep the sauce warm on a stove top or in a 135ºF bain marie.
     Quail with Roasted Pearl Onion Yogurt Sauce, Portobello Rice and Braised Swiss Chard:
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     Step 1:  Use a ring mold to place 1 portion of Portobello Rice on the center of a plate.  (About 3/4 cup.)
     Place 2 petite portions (1/4 cup each) of Braised Swiss Chard on opposite sides of the rice.
     Step 2:  Remove the skewers from the legs of the quail.
     Place the 2 roasted quail on opposite sides of the rice.
     Spoon a portion of the Roasted Pearl Onion Yogurt Sauce over each quail and allow the pearl onions to cascade onto the plate.

     This is a nice ski lodge style quail entrée for a chilly winter day!

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