Recipes

Roast Quail with Farro and Winter Squash

Get your game (bird) on
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Fried Farro with Quail
Photo: Lizzie Munro/Tasting Table

This dish from Josh McFadden of Ava Gene's in Portland, Oregon, is a delicious way to incorporate game birds into your usual routine: First the chef roasts quail stuffed with rosemary and garlic, which results in a juicy, fragrant bird. He then pairs it with toasted farro, savoy cabbage and roasted butternut squash—some of our favorite fall flavors on one plate.

To learn more, read "Game Time."

Roast Quail with Farro and Winter Squash

Recipe adapted from Josh McFadden, Ava Gene's, Portland, OR

Yield: 2 servings

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes

Ingredients

For the Farro and Winter Squash:

2 cups chopped butternut squash (about ½ pound)

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup farro

4 cloves garlic, smashed

2 sprigs rosemary

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups of thinly sliced savoy cabbage

Fish sauce, to taste

Juice of ½ orange

⅓ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped

For the Quail:

2 semi-boned quails, rinsed and patted dry (see note)

2 sprigs rosemary

2 cloves garlic, smashed

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Make the farro and winter squash: Preheat the oven to 400°. Toss the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil on a parchment-lined sheet tray. Season with salt and pepper and bake, tossing the squash occasionally, until tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the farro and 2 cloves of the garlic and toast, stirring constantly, until fragrant and the farro has turned dark brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add 2 cups water, season with salt and bring to a boil. Boil the farro, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the farro, drizzle it with a 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and let cool. Remove and discard garlic.

3. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the remaining 2 cloves of garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the cloves are toasted and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the rosemary and cook for 1 more minute. Add the crushed red pepper flakes and cabbage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage is just softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the farro and cook until the flavors have melded and the cabbage has cooked down, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and warm through, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and discard the rosemary and garlic. Toss in the fish sauce, orange juice, walnuts, and more red pepper flakes (if needed). Drizzle the farro with more olive oil and set aside until ready to serve.

4. Meanwhile, make the quail: Remove the quail from the refrigerator one hour before cooking. Increase the oven temperature to 425°. Stuff each quail with 1 sprig of the rosemary and 1 clove of the garlic. Rub the quails all over with 1 tablespoon olive oil, then season them with salt and black pepper.

5. Place a medium oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the quails and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes, before sliding the pan into the oven. Roast until the quails have cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the quails to cool for 5 minutes before placing on top of farro mixture. Serve warm.

Note: Semi-boned quail are "sleeve-boned," meaning that the breastbone and backbone have been removed while leaving the wings and legs intact. This makes it easier to stuff the quail, and it cooks more quickly.

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