Sunday, 28 October 2012

Sunday Night's Dinner - Quail

On Sunday, I surprised Nigel with a meal that is not very common in our household and it was soooooo delicious!!   Sometime ago, I saw quail on special offer in a local supermarket, so I bought some and threw them in the freezer; four of them to be exact!  Last Sunday morning, I thought I would get them out and unfreeze them, then decide what I was going to do with them.  I had a look on the internet and found so many similar recipes, that I decided to get a hint from each one and then do my own thing!


Ready to go in the oven when covered.
Serves 2

4 quails
2 tablespoon quince jelly, but I guess you could use any jelly
100 gr (3½ ozs) lardons or chopped thick bacon
20 pitted prunes
brandy (about 2 liqueur glasses full)
4 shallots chopped chunky
chicken stock cube
water
1 tablespoon thyme (dried)
olive oil
2 tablespoons parsley (dried)
garlic salt
freshly ground pepper.

I put the prunes in a small dish, covered them with the brandy and left them there most of the afternoon to absorb as much as possible.

I cleaned and washed each bird removing the few feathers that were still attached and then sprinkled them with freshly ground pepper and some garlic salt.  I browned them in a non-stick frying pan in a little oil, turning so all sides were lightly browned, I then added the lardons and sprinkled it all with the thyme, I cooked it all for a couple of minutes. I then lined the birds up in a pyrex dish and spooned over the lardons and the thyme. (Keep the pan for later). I popped them into the oven, covered, at 220C (428F) for 15 mins then took them out and let them stand for a couple of hours not removing the lid.  (This step may not be necessary, but I wanted to eat later and I did not want to mess around at the last minute. I suspect though this may have been what made them so tender!)

Just before serving I put the dish back in the oven at 160C (320F) to heat the birds through, while I made the sauce in the non-stick pan.  To do this, heat the pan, add the shallots, fry lightly until glassy in appearance.  Pour over the prunes and the remains of the brandy and flame, lighting carefully with a match.  Add the quince jelly, the chicken stock cube, parsley and a little water  until you have a good sauce consistency, allow to reduce a little.

Remove the quails from the oven, put 2 on a plate and pour the sauce (10 prunes for each person!) over the birds. Serve with vegetables of choice. 



My vegetable selection maybe a bit odd, but I was using up what was plentiful in the garden!  Chard stalks pre-boiled until just soft, then put in the oven with parmesan and pepper sprinkled between each layer with a small drop of red wine, cooked at 180C (356F) until slightly brown. I left them in there when the quail went back in to heat up at 160C.   


The green from the chard was wilted in boiling water, then drained and chopped.  Meanwhile I made a white sauce, added Dijon mustard and freshly ground black pepper to taste,  before I mixed in the chopped chard.  


Chard Stalks
The third vegetable was a very large green tomato that I peeled with a potato peeler. It was firm enough to do this.  I sliced it, and as I layered it in the dish I sprinkled it with pepper and parmesan. It went in the oven, in a separate dish, covered, with the chard stalks and cooked for the same time.

It was very tasty and the quail were remarkably tender.  I was pleasantly surprised that we both felt quite full afterwards.








 
See also - My Life Before Charente Updated 28/10/12

99 comments:

  1. Dinner looks great! I've never had quail before. I hope you're having a great weekend so far.

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    1. Joyful they were really good and surprisingly filling. Have a good day, Diane

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  2. I love quails adn often serve quail's eggs for apéro.

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    1. Cuisine de Provence what is your tip for taking the shells off? I end up with more egg attached to the shell despite putting them straight into cold water after cooking. I also love them dipped in a little celery salt. Take care Diane

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    2. Roll the eggs on a hard surface with the palm of your hand then pick a bit of shell from the underside (where the airbubble is located) and the rest will come off in one strip - most of the time that is, beacuse you are right Diane, quail's eggs are a pain to peel.

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    3. I will try that next time but I am not good at peeling eggs full stop!!!!

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  3. MMM... Good! And perfect for a cold day as today.

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    1. Andrea I cannot believe how cold the weather has suddenly got, today is a bit warmer at 7C but the last 2 days have been around 3C to 5C!!! I hate winter and it has not really started yet! Take care Diane

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  4. Great!
    I'll take the quails and leave the chards! My mom has forced me too many times with them that I can't eat them any more!! LOL!
    Funny, I have quails in the freezer, I will copy the rest of your recipe!
    Thanks Diane! ;-)
    Keep warm!!

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    1. Noushka so many people do not like chard, I always use different flavours and we love it! Hope you enjoy your quail. Yes it really is chilly you keep warm also. Take care Diane xx

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  5. Bon appetit! Hello from an Englishman who has lived in France for many years. That meal looks absolutely delicious. If you drank wine with it which one did you choose? I see you mentioned earlier that it's cold down there today. It's the same thing here in Lyon, where my windowledge thermometer reads -4C and there's a biting and blustery wind too. Decidedly NOT the best moment to eat a salad. Lunch today was Shepherd's Pie. I prefer it to the more basic Hachis Parmentier because it has vegetables in, making it a more complete and balanced dish. In fact a couple of my French friends also put them in now after tasting mine.

    May I wish you and yours an excellent day.

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    1. Fripouille thanks so much for your visit and your comment, I appreciate it. I went out just now to the greenhouse and the temperature in there is 28C think I may just move in :-) Outside we have gone up to 11C, but the biting wind make it feel much colder. Yesterday was only 3C!! I love Shepherds Pie mainly as you say it has the vegetables in and a one pot dish. We have no dish washer so one pot dishes happen often in this house! I have friends to lunch on Thursday, so a beef casserole is in my mind at the moment with vegetables added. Of course there will be a starter, a cheese course and a pudding as well! Take care and enjoy what is left of the day Diane

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  6. That looks and sounds delicious although ten prunes may be too many for me .

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    1. Diane cooked prunes are not a problem I find, it is the dried ones I must not eat too many of!!!! It was a yummy meal though. Keep well Diane

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  7. Oh, this looks so good! I've never done anything with green tomatoes other than frying them. I'll have to try your recipe as we've just pulled in all the garden "leftovers" and there are some green tomatoes in the "harvest"...we have a storm approaching and have pulled everything in that isn't nailed down! I love the idea of the prunes, too, and would love to try it!

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    1. Deb we really enjoyed the tomatoes done like this, they were much easier than frying and probably much healthier. I have done them several times like this since. Take care and keep well Diane

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  8. Everything sounds and looks TDF!

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    1. The Broad, not sure that I would have died for this meal but it was pretty good though I say it myself :-) Keep well Diane

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  9. Looks delicious. I watch the quail outside my windows all winter and Mike always wanted to trap some to eat but I discouraged it. I could if I was Really hungry. But never see them at the grocery store.

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    1. Gaelyn I would have to be very hungry to catch the birds in my garden. I think the ones we buy in the shop are farmed so I do not feel so bad. have a good week Diane

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  10. That's a super recipe...and I think you're right about keeping it intensifying the flavours..how often does a reheated stew taste better!
    I used to cook quail with honey and toasted sesame seed, but this sounds a lot better. I can buy quail here, at a price, but it might be better to raise them ourselves.


    That green tomato recipe is one I'll be using as we have the odd one poking out from under protection from birds which it's best to pick before they peck, and we both like chard.

    Have you tried the stems cooked like chinese cabbage...diced onion and fresh ginger sweated off, a few red pepper flakes, then add the stems in bite sized pieces and increase the heat, adding a bit of soy to finish.

    Hungry now....

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    1. Fly I will certainly try the chard like that it sounds delicious and we like spicy, so the red pepper flakes will be good.

      We have had the green tomatoes done like this almost every day, trying to get rid of them all. Too lazy to make chutney it takes too long. At least we have not got fed up with them yet.

      Now raising quail sounds like a good idea, problem is we need a few holidays next year and having animals always proves to be a problem.

      Enjoy your week Diane

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  11. Hi Diane .. looks absolutely delicious - I hope to get out to the pheasant farm this week and then to freeze a couple of these early autumn birds - as they seem to be much more tender now. Love roast pheasant and quail and game in general ..

    Gorgeous dinner - compared to the reheat I'm doing for myself this evening!!

    Have a happy autumnal week ahead .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Hilary I will certainly be looking out for quail again in the supermarket, this was very good. We were going to have a reheat tonight then Nigel commented on the fact that there was some bread left, French bread does not last. At the last minute I threw together a chunky vegetable soup with some Jerusalem artichoke added that I had brought up from the garden. Wow it was spectacular, the flavour was amazing. Think suddenly I could live on chunky vegetable soup. Oh well the reheat will now be tomorrow.

      Have a good week. Diane

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  12. Sounds delicious to me! I like the prune addition and those green tomatoes too. Now to figure out where to purchase quail!

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    1. Pam we do not see quail that often in the shops but now I will be on the look out for them. Any game bird I am sure would be good cooked like this. The green tomatoes are amazing, they taste sweet but they have no sugar on them! I am hooked. Have a fantastic week Diane

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  13. I haven't cooked quail for ages and I've no idea why. These sound lovely. And personally I really like chard. I usually try to plant some chard late in the season, hope that it survives the winter and enjoy it as an early vegetable in the spring. Sadly this year I haven't had the time to plant anything.

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    1. Phil I try to have chard in the garden all year round, it seems to survive the harshest of winters and generally gets through summer without bolting. The quail was very good I will be watching out for them again. Have a good week Diane

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  14. This looks like a womderful and delicious dinner. It looks like a lot of work went into it, but it also seems it was worthi it. I am not hungry at the moment, but my mouth is watering, nonetheless.

    Have a lovley week.

    Red

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    1. Boye By Red It was really not a lot to do and it all ran very smoothly. The fact that I did it early also helped to make life simpler, and possibly improved the flavour.
      You have a good week also Diane

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  15. It all looks and sounds delicious, and the sauce delectable!

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    1. rosaria it was a very yummy meal, we also thoroughly enjoyed the sauce :-)) Take care Diane

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  16. Sounds yummy for a cool October day's dinner...quail is definitely not something we see in the shops here! Being fond of vegetables, I must admit they sound like the best part of the meal to me...:)

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    1. Lynette we enjoyed it all, vegetables and quail alike. I am hooked on green tomatoes cooked this way though!
      Thanks for the visit and the comment, much appreciated that you are also following.
      Have a great week Diane

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  17. A taste of France for sure!! Sounds delicious!
    Be sure to enter my give-a-way!
    Blessings!
    Ann

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    1. Ann thanks for taking the time out to visit, will pop over and see your post ASAP. Take care Diane

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  18. Quail is one of our faves as well and Sue loves cooking them. I'm salivating while reading this.

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    1. Leon and Sue they were so delicious no wonder you love them. We had our first frost this morning so it looks like winter has arrived :-(( Take care and have a fantastic week. D & N

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  19. That looks and sounds absolutely delicious :) The first pic made me think 'Can Can' - all those legs!!

    Hopefully next year, when our little garden is established, we may have the 'problem' of green tomatoes, and now I know what to do with them. Thank you for the recipes :)

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    1. Ha ha you are right it does look like the Can Can! Hope all is well there. We had our first frost this morning so there is definitely a change in the weather! Take care Diane

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    2. No frost here yet (famous last words!!!), but pretty chilly overnight. All the best, Jacky

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    3. No frost this morning but decidedly chilly again. Nigel hopes to cycle later. The cold air makes me cough too much!

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  20. I have grown chard this year, but only because you mention it from time to time! But we haven't eaten any yet though because I keep forgetting about it! But will take on board your tips about cooking it when I do remember to give it a try.

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    1. Vera I am not sure that I could live without Chard now, but I must say that the seed I get from S.Africa grows far healthier and stronger chard than the seed I can get here! Hope you have company back on the homestead soon, Diane

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  21. A pretty plate of food :)
    And your greenhouse has such fun potential!!

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    1. Auntie Bliss I am really looking forward to getting out in the greenhouse. Take care Diane

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  22. Thanks for the recipe. I love quail. Great blog. I found you through Lavender Dreams blog (Diane). I will also go see your other blog :)

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    1. Danice thanks so much for the visit and the comment, I appreciate it. I hope to see you back take care and have a good week. Diane

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  23. I want to thank you first of all Diane for your regular visits and wonderful comments on This is Belgium. I am always delighted to see you there and grateful for your commenting !
    You do what I do when I do not know how to cook something;.. I search the internet. Cookbooks, which I like by the way, remain untouched in the bookshelves.. isn't that something?
    same story for photobooks, phonebooks, art exhibits etc.;;
    and I so badly want the bookbusiness to stay alive and do well
    great meal , great gardening,

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    1. Hmm I replied to this earlier, I have had a few go astray today......

      I have a bookcase of cookery books and photo albums all which have not been opened for many moons. The internet is so much quicker!! At least the albums are being opened at the moment as I look for photos to scan for My Life Before Charente!

      I love your blog you have some really interesting photos, thanks for blogging.
      Take care diane

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  24. You come up with the most delicious recipes Diane and this one looks particularly yummy x

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    1. Kerry this was one of the better ones, it was very tasty :-)) Keep warm Diane xx

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  25. That looks perfectly scrumptious! I've never cooked quail but I think I might have to give it a go :)

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    1. Sara Louise, I highly recommend this dish, it was fantastic. Hope you enjoy. Diane

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    1. Pam though I say it myself it was pretty good :-) Keep well Diane

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  27. I've never had quail before but it does look tasty.
    By the way I love your new header picture. :)

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    1. Ellie if you should see quail in the shops give it a try, they were really good and far more flesh on them than I expected. Thanks for the header comment. The Charente River at Jarnac.
      Have a good week. Diane

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  28. I love quail and they do cook very well with pruneau - that's how I do them in winter. We usually just eat one each, though - you must have good appetites!

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    1. chaiselongue, they looked so small a and I did not think one each would have been enough. I fact there was a lot of meat on them and as I said we were very full. One would have been enough. Keep well Diane

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  29. Sounds like you had a very lovely dinner. Everything sounds perfect.

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    1. Words Of Deliciousness It was excellent and we enjoyed every mouthful of it :-) Take care Diane

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  30. Hi Diane, your baked quail look delicious. I'm sure it's finger licking good. :)
    I only tried quail once in BBQ style, it sure very tasty only thing it's a bit too small.

    Have a nice week ahead.

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    1. Amelia we were surprised just how much meat was on these little birds, but maybe a bit small for the BBQ. Whatever they were very yummy. Have a great weekend Diane

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  31. I've never cook quail...you meal is very inspiring.

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    1. Google is driving me mad I have replied twice to this comment and they keep disappearing! backroadjournal I highly recommend this dish if you have not tried it. It was very good. Have a great weekend. Diane

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  32. I must say it is a relief to be back on-line. I like the sound of using quince jelly with the quail must remember that idea. Great news about the greenhouse.

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    1. Linda I use quince a lot in my cooking (I have plenty of it despite few quinces this year!) it gives a great taste. I am looking forward to seeing what I can produce in the greenhouse, just a pity we have no heater but they don't come cheap. Great to have you back on line. Have a good weekend. Diane

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  33. Diane, I wish I had a garden of vegetables to use. I have never prepared quail before, it looks like you did a lot with the tidbits that you got from each recipe (I do the same thing...get lots of ideas and do whar sounds best from each one). Nice job!

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    1. Lyndsey I was so lost without my garden in the UK, it is wonderful to have it back again. If you see quail in the shops give them a try it was a brilliant meal. Have a good weekend Diane

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  34. Sorry for the inconveniences caused..sometime,even myself can't download it.I think it got to do with the server.
    Anyway,thank you very much for the visit.
    Regards from Borneo!!!

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    1. I wonder why, our server is slow but if you also have a problem......... Keep well Diane

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  35. i have never seen supermarket here selling quails, if one day they do, i sure buy some to make this yummy dish!

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    1. Sonia if you should see them please try them out, I am sure you would not be disappointed. Keep well Diane

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  36. That does look delicious, Diane, with lots of good ideas. Thanks.

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    1. Ken thanks for taking the time to comment, much appreciated. Glad you liked my ideas. We had guests to lunch today and I cooked green tomatoes, she said she had been throwing hers away as she did not know you could eat them other than for chutney. What a shame, but she will not be throwing away in future. Have a good weekend Diane

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  37. Un plat plein de saveurs. J'aime beaucoup. La caille est une volaille très délicate et très bonne à manger.
    See soon.

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    1. Merci Nadji, vous avez raison la caille est délicieux. A bientôt Diane

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  38. I have never had quail but the dinner sounds delicious:) Have a great weekend Diane!
    ~Anne

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    1. Anne if you should see them around, snap them up, small as they are they are very good eating. You enjoy your weekend also. Diane

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  39. I've had pheasant, but I don't think I've had quail. They don't sell game birds hereabouts; you have to know (or be) a hunter to get them. Looks like it was a splendid dinner!

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    1. Marjie I am sure you could cook pheasant the same way. Guess it is time to see who is out hunting in your area :-) It was a great dinner and if I see them again they will certainly be on the menu. Enjoy the weekend Diane

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  40. Now I'm starving! :-) It looks delicious!

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    1. JM wish you could have joined us. Have a good weekend. Diane

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  41. I don't think I've ever cooked that, but looks like it's worth giving a try!

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    1. Mihaela If you see it in the shops, please give it a try I am sure you would not be disappointed. Thanks for the visit and the comment, much appreciated. Have a great weekend Diane

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  42. I was surprised with the popularity of quail in France. When we were there in April, I had a salad with quail legs. Tiny little things! Your dinner looks wonderful.

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    1. Freda I can't imagine you would feel very full with a salad and quail legs :-( The breast though on ours was very meaty and we did feel like we had eaten a good meal afterwards. Have a good Sunday Diane

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  43. That looks sumptuous! I have never tried quail before, must be so tasty.

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    1. Chubskulit Rose, although I say it myself they were pretty good. Hope your Sunday is a good one for you Diane

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  44. Looks delicious! I've never had quail as it's pretty much unheard of in New England. Still, it always sounded cozy.

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    1. sonia I am sorry that you have not had the chance to try quail, it really was an interesting and tasty dish. Keep well Diane

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  45. I've never cooked quail myself before but now I am inspired !

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    1. Brittany I must be doing well to inspire you, your dishes always inspire me. If you see them around please try, it really was a very yummy dish. Have a good week Diane

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  46. Diane this look really delicious!!! look yumm!!! Have a nice Sunday dear and take care!

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    1. Gloria you have a good Sunday as well. Thanks for taking the time to comment on what we thought was a delicious dish. Diane

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  47. Sounds like a wonderful dinner - you went all out! I know your husband was delighted with such a lovely meal.

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    1. The Café Sucré Farine, Nigel was surprised and delighted, he did not know what I was cooking so it made it a bit extra special for him :-)) Have a good day Diane

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