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Carolina Quail with Country-Fried Foie Gras and Sawmill Gravy

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Ingredients

Quail

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon salt

4 cranks fresh-ground white pepper

2 large Carolina quail, breast and legs removed

Gravy

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 ounces ground breakfast sausage meat, not spicy

½ cup whole milk, room temperature

1 teaspoon salt

2 cranks fresh-ground white pepper

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Quail hearts and livers, diced (optional)

Foie Gras

1 Cup duck fat or vegetable oil for frying foie gras

3-ounce slices raw foie gras (duck liver)

1 teaspoon salt

2 cranks fresh-ground white pepper

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon cornstarch ¼ cup buttermilk

1 ounce micro chives

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In medium-sized sauté pan, heat butter. Sprinkle salt and pepper across quail breasts and legs. Place skin side down in pan and sear over medium heat to lightly brown skin, approximately 2½ minutes.
  3. Remove breasts only and set aside in pie tin. Leave legs in pan and turn them over to cook another 2½ minutes. Remove legs and place with breasts.
  4. Remove excess fat from pan and proceed with gravy.
  5. For gravy, heat oil over medium heat and add ground sausage, cooking 2 to 3 minutes and browning meat as much as possible. Remove meat and set aside, leaving fat in pan.
  6. Remove pan from heat and add flour. Stir with wooden spoon, then return to burner, reduce heat to low, and cook 1 minute. Add milk to flour mixture little by little. Add salt, pepper and thyme. Return cooked sausage to pan. Taste and re-season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Chef’s note: This will become a thick and pasty gravy sauce. I like it this way for this dish. If you prefer a thinner gravy, add more milk. To make it sexier, dice the quail livers and hearts, sauté them in butter, and add to the gravy just before serving.

  1. To make foie gras, in small saucepan, heat duck fat almost to smoking point, 375 degrees. Salt each foie gras with 1 teaspoon salt and 2 cranks pepper. Toss foie gras in flour and cornstarch, then dip in buttermilk and then back into flour and cornstarch.
  2. Gently drop foie gras into duck fat, making sure they are some- what submerged. Fry to light brown, about 1 minute. Gently turn over for about 30 seconds and then remove from pan.
  3. Pop quail in oven for 2 minutes to finish cooking.
  4. Spoon some thick gravy onto each plate. Set Country-Fried Foie Gras on top of gravy and place quail breast on foie gras. Place legs to side. Sprinkle with chives and enjoy!

 

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