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X-Planations: Chef Peter X. Kelly Celebrates Autumn In The Hudson Valley

Quail, says Chef Peter X. Kelly, is a great Fall dish.
Quail, says Chef Peter X. Kelly, is a great Fall dish. Photo Credit: Submitted

This column is a continuing series by Chef Peter X. Kelly of Xaviars Restaurant Group.

It’s autumn in the Hudson Valley. Very soon the leaves will be changing color and our beautiful area will be awash in a rainbow of Fall colors.

As a chef, I love this time of year because our whole palette of ingredients starts to change. Summer's corn and tomatoes become Fall's squashes and root vegetables. I look for more game birds and slow braise’s to satisfy my guests with.

I find few home cooks utilize quail when preparing a special dinner but I highly recommend trying it. Quail is a tiny bird that has a rich dark meat quality that pairs well with a simple mash potato or polenta side dish. Since quail are small birds, I recommend serving just one as a first course or two quail as a main dish.

The recipe that follows is very simple to prepare; you can even substitute a breast of chicken for the quail. Ask you butcher for boneless quail; it’s well worth the effort.

Quail and other game birds can also be ordered online from www.dartagnon.com .

Grilled Quail with Rosemary & Thyme (Recipe courtesy of Peter X. Kelly, Xaviars Restaurants)

Ingredients:

  • 8 Boneless Quail (or chicken breast)
  • 6 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 Sprig fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprig fresh thyme
  • Salt and Freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  • Season quail with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Combine quail with all marinade ingredients and place in a sealable plastic bag.
  • Allow quail to marinate 12 – 48 hours.
  • Heat grill or grill pan and cook quail three minutes on breast side.
  • Turn quail and cook two minutes more.
  • Serve quail with polenta or mashed potatoes.

Note: This recipe may be prepared using boneless chicken breasts.

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