Salad of Quails with Wild Mushrooms

Salade de cailles aux champignons des bois

Moderately expensive
Preparation time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 200 g (7 oz) lamb’s lettuce (mâche) or Batavian endive
  • 200 g (7 oz) wood mushrooms (chanterelles)
  • 2 plump quails
  • a small bouquet of chives, parsley and chervil, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of strong Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 15 g (½ oz) butter
  • salt, pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 250°C/500°F/Mark 10. Wash and drain the salads and the chanterelles. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying-pan over a brisk heat and when the oil is smoking throw in the mushrooms. Sauté them rapidly for 3–4 minutes and drain in a colander.
  2. Pluck and gut the quails, if it has not already been done, and season them inside and out with salt and pepper. Place them in a small roasting-tin with 15 g (½ oz) butter, and roast in the hot oven for 15 minutes. When they are done, bone the quails with a small sharp knife and put the meat on one side to keep warm.
  3. Discard the butter in which the quails have cooked and pour 2 tablespoons of wine vinegar into the still-warm roasting-tin. Place over a moderate heat and simmer briefly, scraping up the juices and caramelised deposits. Pour immediately into a bowl and add the mustard, salt and pepper and then the 4 remaining tablespoons of olive oil. Mix thoroughly together with a small whisk. Taste for seasoning and add the finely-chopped herbs.
  4. Season the greenery, washed and dried, with a tablespoon of the vinaigrette (3) and arrange round the edges of two warm plates. Pile up the mushrooms, similarly dressed with vinaigrette, in the middle, and top with the quail meat cut into fine slices. Serve the rest of the dressing separately. This rather leisurely process means that the salad is served warm rather than hot.

Recommended wines

  • red – Côtes du Rhône or Beaujolais