Roasted Quail with a White Wine Jus
6 whole quail
Freshly ground black pepper
A sprig or two of fresh rosemary, sage, thyme or marjoram
6 cloves of garlic, smashed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Extra-virgin olive oil
For the jus
1 shallot, chopped
1 sprig of thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine
A knob of unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut off the feet at the knee joint and the head at the base of the neck. Rinse and thoroughly dry the bird. Season the inside of the quail with salt and pepper and stuff the cavity with herbs and a clove or two of garlic. Use your fingers to rub the softened butter all over the quail and season with salt and pepper.
In a large ovenproof skillet, drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil, just enough to coat the pan. Preheat the pan over medium high heat. Place the quail in the pan and sear on all sides for a nice, crispy skin. Slide the skillet in the oven and roast the quail until done, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
To make the jus:
Remove the quail from the pan and set it on a warm cutting board to rest. Add the shallot, thyme and bay leaf to the pan and cook until the shallot is translucent, but not brown. Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the little bits of browned quail. Strain the jus and continue to reduce until slightly thickened. Off the heat, add a knob of butter and swirl the pan to incorporate the butter in the jus.