I had bought these Quail from Mr Dobie with Briarhill farms at an earlier visit to the market. They come frozen, 4 to a pack, which makes them easy to store for future use.
I saw that he also had fresh Chestnuts which bring back fond memories of walking through Piazza Novona in Rome with my husband, eating hot chestnuts from a cone. So of course I had to get some.
So with these ingredients I decided that I would stuff the quail with a chestnut and andouille cornbread stuffing. Accadian foods has great block andouille. This is a great combo because the cornbread adds a little sweetness, the chestnuts of course add nuttiness, and andouille adds great smokiness
First I started with the cornbread. It has to have time to cool before you make the stuffing.
1/2 cub butter
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. Make a well in the center and add the wet ingredients. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Place in a oiled 1/4 sheet pan or an eight inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees until golden and a tooth pick comes out clean. About 25 to 30 minutes.
I also roasted the chestnuts in the oven with the cornbread. Wipe them with a wet paper towel and make an "X" in the shell. The first time I cooked them was during Christmas and we were decorating our tree, drinking hot butter rums and the chestnuts started to explode in the oven because the steam inside them caused them to erupt. What a mess! The chestnuts take about 20 minutes to cook. You will know they are done because their shells will split.
Now to make the Stuffing you will need.
1 onion chopped
2 bell pepper chopped (I used red and yellow but you can use green)
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 pound andouille diced
1 recipe of cornbread crumbled and broken up
1/4 cup olive oil
1 pint of chestnuts roasted and chopped
3-4 cups of chicken stock
You want to use a large skillet to make this. Place the olive oil in the skillet over med. heat. Add the onion, garlic, bell peppers, and andouille. Saute until the peppers are tender and the andouille releases its oil. Add the chestnuts. Next add the cornbread and mix to that everything is evenly distributed. Add the chicken stock a little at a time. You want the stuffing wet enough to stick together with out being soggy. If you notice I did not add any salt. The andouille has enough to season the rest. You might need a little depending on the sausage.
Let the stuffing cool and than form it into 4 large balls. (I made 8)
Next you need to get the quail ready for stuffing. Now just an FYI, when you get your quail from Mr Dobie at the CCFM, it is a little harder to stuff them because he cuts them down the breast bone and usually them come cut down the back bone so they stuff a little better. But Mr Dobie's quail are some of the best I have ever had.
So just take a minute to cut out some of the extra chest bones. you can cut the wings off if you would like. I keep the trim and place it in a stock pot with some oil and brown them. Then add a little salt and pepper, deglaze with wine and add about 2 cups of chicken stock. I let this reduce to about 1/2 cup
Now just take the stuffing balls and place one in the center of each quail. With Mr Dobie's quail I had to use some butchers string to keep them closed. With the quail cut down the back you will be able to completely wrap the quail around the stuffing. I also make a small slit in one leg and stick the leg of the other in it to help keep it together.
To roast the quail, set the oven at 350 degrees. Place the quail on a oiled sheet pan and salt and pepper them. Place them in the oven for about 20 minutes take them out and baste them with honey, I like the honey from Paw Paw at the market. Return them to the oven and repeat again in 10 minutes. They should be done after 35 minutes. Take them out and rest them for 5 minutes. After you plate them, pour the quick sauce you made with the bones over them.
I served them with mustard greens from the Monicas. I washed and chopped them, then sauteed them with some garlic and olive oil, salt and pepper.
I also made Brabant potatoes. I reduced 2 cups of cream to about 3/4 cups, set this a side. Dice 3 Idaho potatoes, blanch them till tender. Let cool. When ready to eat, saute the potatoes in canola oil until they get a little color. And the reduced cream, salt and pepper, and cook until the cream is thick and coats the potatoes.
Now all that's left is to make yourself a plate and enjoy!