Leigh Boliver, chef de partie at Sticks Restaurant at the Chalk Hotel blends marinated quail with an Italian salad for a quick and tasty meal.

Ingredients:

Serves 4

8 quail
8 slices speck

Marinade

  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 tspn Cajun spice
  • 8 sage leaves
  • 100ml olive oil

Panzanella salad

  • 100g diced tomato
  • 20 rocket leaves
  • 100g diced capsicum
  • 100g Spanish onion
  • 100g diced cucumbers
  • 100g halved olives
  • 1 tspn roast garlic
  • 8 capers, finely diced
  • 80g croutons

Dressing

  • 2 tspn red wine vinegar
  • 2 tspn extra virgin olive oil

Method:

Marinate the quail for 30 minutes. In a bowl, mix the salad ingredients together and toss lightly with the red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill the quail in a lightly greased pan until golden brown, cut each quail in half and set aside. Grill the speck until crispy. Arrange the salad on the plate and top with the two halved quails. Finish with a scattering of microherbs and top with 2 pieces of the speck.

Chef’s Tip

According to Sticks Restaurant chef Leigh Boliver, it is important to marinate the quail to stop it from drying out. When cooking the quail, start with the skin side first which releases a bit more fat for the meat to cook in, then cook for about two minutes each side.

Making sure you don’t end up with nothing but dry skin and bone is all in the care of the cooking, according to Boliver who recommends keeping a watchful eye on the meat so as not to overcook and checking under the wing bone to see when it is done.