© Laura Edwards
Griddled marinated quail (pintxo)
Small plates from the region that straddles France and Spain
If you go to A Fuego Negro, a pintxo place in San Sebastián, something you musn’t miss is pajarito frito (little fried bird)— it’s just amazing. They marinate the bird with vermouth, roasted garlic and honey then leave it for 24 hours so the flavours really infuse into the meat.
Here we marinate the quail for the same amount of time, but with lemon, garlic and thyme instead. The pickled shallot garnish is the same as it’s a perfect combination. Happy days.
6 quail, spatchcocked
juice of 2 lemons
1 banana shallot (echalion), finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4-5 sprigs of thyme
For the shallots
⅓ c. (75 ml) cider vinegar
⅓ c. (75 ml) raspberry vinegar
2 oz. (50 g) caster (superfine) sugar (about ¼ c. / 60 ml)
6 black peppercorns
4 banana shallots (echalions), finely sliced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra-virgin olive oil
Put the quail into a dish. Mix the lemon juice with the shallot, garlic, thyme and a good amount of olive oil. Pour the mixture over the quail and marinate overnight. The next day heat the vinegars with the caster sugar and peppercorns until the sugar has dissolved. Pour the hot vinegar over the shallots and set aside.
Heat a barbecue or chargrill pan. Once the pan is hot, remove the quail from the marinade and griddle for 15 minutes, turning, until cooked. Set aside to rest.
Drain the shallots from the vinegar, season with a little salt and pepper, and add some extra-virgin olive oil. Serve with the griddled quail. Serves 6.
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