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Pan-Fried Plantation Quail with Grits and Pickled Strawberry Salad


Pan-Fried Plantation Quail

4 boneless quail breasts

1 cup buttermilk

1 cup maseca corn flour

1½ tablespoons salt

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon guajillo pepper (optional)

2 cups canola oil

Grits (recipe follows)

Pickled Strawberry and Asparagus Salad (recipe follows)

1 cup sorghum syrup


2 cups water

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon cultured butter

Kosher salt, to taste

Fresh ground pepper, to taste

Pickled Strawberry & Asparagus Salad

⅛ cup sugar

½ cup champagne vinegar

½ cup water

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 jalapeno, cut in half lengthwise (seeds removed)

½ cup extra virgin olive oil

6 stalks asparagus, cut thinly, lengthwise

4 medium strawberries, sliced

½ small watermelon radish, sliced


Pan-Fried Plantation Quail
  1. Place the quail in a medium bowl and cover with the buttermilk. Marinate for 2 hours or overnight in refrigerator.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix Maseca corn flour, salt, pepper and guajillo pepper.
  3. In a deep cast iron pan, heat canola oil to 350 degrees.
  4. Drain excess buttermilk from quail. (Do not rinse.)
  5. Dredge quail in seasoned corn flour mixture. Shake off excess flour.
  6. Slowly place each quail breast in the hot oil, cooking for approximately 3 minutes on each side.
  7. Remove with a slotted spatula and set on paper towels to drain excess oil. Allow quail to rest at least three minutes before assembling.
  8. To assemble, spoon 2-3 tablespoons of grits onto dish. Set one pan-fried quail breast on top of grits and top with a handful of salad. Finish with a drizzle of sorghum syrup.
  1. In a medium bowl, rinse grits by covering with water (about 2 inches, depending on size of bowl, or about 2 cups). Stir, allowing grits to settle to bottom of bowl. Skim off any hulls that rise to the top.
  2. Cover grits using plastic wrap, then set aside to soak overnight. (This is preferred to allow grits to soften and reduce cooking time.) In lieu of soaking, follow directions on package and skip to step 3.
  3. In a medium saucepan, combine soaked grits with heavy cream until soft and creamy. Once cooked, slowly fold in the butter and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Pickled Strawberry & Asparagus Salad
  1. Combine sugar, vinegar, water and salt in a small pan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and add jalapeno pepper.
  2. Once liquid mixture reaches room temperature, remove jalapeno. Add olive oil and whisk together to create vinaigrette.
  3. Gently toss asparagus, strawberries and watermelon radish together in a small bowl.
  4. Slowly pour some of the vinaigrette over the salad and toss again. Add more as desired to taste, being careful not to overdress.
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