Quail crown, ‘peanuts and raisins’

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Preparation info

  • Serves


    Main Course Portions
    • Difficulty


Appears in

Mile 8: A book about cooking

Mile 8

By David Higgs

Published 2018

  • About
Rust en Vrede

I have always been intrigued by the wording of menus and the playfulness of describing dishes … Things that we can relate to, but our own interpretation thereof. ‘Peanuts and raisins’ is one of those.



  • 8 whole quails180 g each
  • 400 g butter – melted
  • salt and pepper

Cardamom carrots

  • 16 baby carrots
  • 40 g butter
  • 6 pods cardamom – crushed
  • salt
  • ice bath – to chill

Puffed sultanas

  • 40 sultanas – soaked in boiling water
  • 40 ml beef jus
  • 120 ml burnt butter dressing – 15ml per serving
  • 32 g raw pinenuts – toasted in a dry frying pan until golden and the natural oils begin to release – 4g per serving
  • 24 red amaranth shoots – 3 per serving – to garnish


Remove the wishbone, excess fat and legs from each quail. Truss the crown and brush with 50g melted butter per quail. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast in the oven at 170°C until pink – 10–15 minutes. Remove from the oven every 2 minutes to baste with the pan juices. Keep warm until serving.

Trim the carrot tops and scrub the flesh lightly to remove any grit. Wash and place in a vacuum bag with the remaining ingredients. Vacuum seal and sous vide at 89°C for 35 minutes – or cook in simmering water until crisp tender. Chill in an ice bath until ready to serve, then warm in the bag at 100°C, or remove from the bag and reheat in a pan.

Boil water and soak the sultanas, changing the boiling water 3 times and then soaking overnight. Just before serving, warm the sultanas in the beef jus.

To assemble, place 2 carrots on each plate, with the crown of quail resting on them. Spoon 5 puffed sultanas with 5 ml jus onto the plate. Coat the quail with the burnt butter dressing and 4 g toasted pinenuts, and finish with 3 amaranth shoots.