Grilled Game Birds in Smoke-Scented Broth

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


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Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

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quails, about 6 oz (150 g) each 2 2
squabs, about 1 lb (450 g) each 2 2
excellent brown stock (as needed to cover carcasses) 2 cups 500 ml
large bouquet garni, with several sprigs of fresh marjoram 1 1
moulard duck breast (see note) 1 1
pheasant or partridge breast, about 6 oz (150 g) 1 1
salt and pepper to taste to taste
mushrooms 4 oz 125 g
extra-virgin olive oil 2 tbsp 30 ml


  1. Remove the breasts and thighs from the quails and squabs and grill the carcasses over wood coals. When the carcasses are nicely browned, transfer them to a 4-quart (4 liter) saucepan. Break the carcasses up and compress them with the end of a European-style rolling pin. Add just enough brown stock to cover. Add the bouquet garni.
  2. Gently simmer the carcasses for 20 minutes. Skim off any froth or fat that floats to the surface.
  3. Strain the broth through a fine chinois and then through a strainer lined with a cloth napkin.
  4. Season the breasts from the quails, squabs, duck, and pheasant with salt and pepper and grill them, skin side down first, over high heat. Leave the meat rare in the center. The quail breasts will take about 1 minute, the squab breasts about 2 minutes, and the duck and pheasant or partridge breasts about 4 minutes.
  5. Slide the mushrooms onto skewers, roll them in olive oil, and grill until they brown and smell fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  6. Pour the reserved broth into a 4-quart (4 liter) straight-sided sauté pan and poach the grilled breasts for 30 seconds to 2 minutes, depending on their size. Remove the breasts and season the broth with salt and pepper.
  7. Present the breasts (slice the duck and pheasant breasts) and mushrooms (removed from the skewers) in deep plates surrounded by the smoke-scented broth.