Quails with Cherries


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      1 hr 15

Appears in

The French Kitchen: A Cookbook

The French Kitchen

By Joanne Harris and Fran Warde

Published 2002

  • About

Cailles Flambées is a simple but spectacular dish for a festive meal.


  • 750 g sour cherries, pitted
  • 150 ml red wine
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 6 quails (your butcher will prepare them for you)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 25 g butter
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 50 ml kirsch
  • 50 ml cognac


    Take a generous third of the cherries, about 300g, and press them through a sieve to extract the juice. Or whiz the cherries in a blender and then pass them through a fine sieve – this is far quicker. Then put the juice, the remaining whole cherries, the red wine and cinnamon in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile, take the quails and season them on the inside. Melt the butter in a large pan, add the quails and cook them for 20 minutes until browned all over.

    Add the cherry mix and juice to the quails, cover them and simmer for another 15 minutes, turning the quails halfway through cooking.

    Remove the quails from the sauce and place on a warmed serving dish. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cherries, and scatter them over the quails. Set aside a spoonful of the liquid to cool. Then increase the heat under the remaining sauce to reduce it. Mix the cornflour with the cooled liquid, remove the sauce from the heat and quickly stir in the cornflour until smooth and blended. Return the sauce to the heat, stirring constantly until it thickens.

    Pour the sauce over the quails, then heat and ignite the kirsch and cognac to flambe the dish just before serving.