Harissa Quail with Middle Eastern Quinoa Salad

This is a great little dish packed full with flavour and colour. Both Quinoa and Pomegranates are Superfoods so it is incredibly healthy too. The only added fat comes from the Olive Oil which you should use in moderation. I tend not to include quantities for all ingredients in my recipes. This is because I like to treat people like adults. If you like things hot and the recipe has chillies in it then throw more in. Equally if crunch is your thing then dice up more apple. Following recipes is great but it is taking on board the ideas and techniques that will make you a good cook NOT slavishly following the exact dictum of the person doling out the instructions. Cooking is about knowing your tastes, the tastes of others and gaining a feel for what will work. Where amounts/quantities/ratios are stated it is because things can go wrong if rules of thumb aren’t followed; put too much stock in the Quinoa and you will have a swamp and the dish won’t work. Conversely throwing in an extra handful of Coriander leaf is going to be to the detriment of no-one.


Ingredients:

  • Two Whole Quail
  • Some Olive Oil
  • Harissa Paste (you can buy some very good ones from most Supermarkets)
  • Fresh Coriander
  • Coriander Seeds
  • Some chilli – seeds out if you don’t like it hot
  • A Granny Smith Apple
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • 1 Chicken stock cube to make 360ml Stock
  • An Orange
  • 120g Quinoa

Method:

  1. Set the oven to 200c
  2. If you buy the birds from a Supermarket they will be trussed (if from a Butcher ask them to do it or better still ASK ME AND I’LL SHOW YOU HOW
  3. Oil, salt and then cover the quail with the harissa rub – leave for an hour or so to let the flavours penetrate
  4. Finely dice the chillies, apple (squeeze some lemon on to stop the dice discolouring) chop the coriander and squeeze the whole orange into a jug
  5. Put the quail in a roasting dish and whack them in the oven for 20mins
  6. In a dry pan saute the coriander seeds until they start to buck and pop. Remove from heat and set aside
  7. Add 360ml of boiling water to 1 stock cube and then pour over 120g of Quinoa (use a jug and a pan won’t you?) and cook gently until all the stock has been absorbed. Then add the orange juice, allow to absorb before removing from the heat and adding the chopped chilli
  8. Rest for a few minutes before adding the pomegranate seeds, apple and some of the coriander
  9. Pull the roasted birds from the oven and rest for a few mins.
  10. Plate the quinoa, add a handful of watercress to the plate and sprinkle with any remaining pomegranate seeds and apple
  11. Rest the quail on the bed of quinoa and finish with a generous pinch of coriander leaves
  12. And you’re done – enjoy!
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