- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove excess fat from pan and proceed with gravy.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pop quail in oven for 2 minutes to finish cooking.
- 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!