Sunday, September 11, 2011

Tagine Quail with Lemons and Olives, Turnip and Potato Mash

Yep, I tried quail again. This time I learned my lesson and actually tied the little legs together. I think that improved the appearance a bit. :) I cannot brag enough about this recipe. It was a HUGE success in my house. We were licking the plates and my husband even went back to the kitchen to scoop out anything extra he could from the tagine and turnip/potato mash bowl. Easily one of our top all-time-favorite meals. The only tiny thing I would work harder on next time is browning the quail. I didn't really brown it well, so it looks a bit pale still. Other than that.... perfection. Yum yum yum! And don't fear the spices, it's not that strong (like my other dishes). 

So, as you can imagine, the yummy dinner made my day even better. I've been in such a good mood lately. My blog is going very well, our baby girl makes us smile constantly (even when she's a tiny pain hehe), our boy has a name (we're going with Emmett), we found lots of toddler/infant clothes on sale, I bought several cloth diapers to try, our play room is looking so so so good, our house is de-cluttered and I just feel like such a lucky person. We're moving forward as a family in every way. Plus, I found the curtain material that I plan to use for the play room and I am excited to get started. Hopefully I can figure out how to work a sewing machine. *crossing fingers*

Thinly slice the lemons
Place the quail into the tagine
Cover and cook for 10 - 15 minutes
Tagine Quail with Lemons and Olives
Serving Size = 2
  • 4 quail
  • 4 thinly sliced lemon pieces
  • Salt/Pepper to taste
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley (I use stems too)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (I use stems too)
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pinch of cayenne, to taste
  • Large pinch of saffron
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup or so of green olives
  1. Add EVOO to a tagine and turn the heat to a little below medium.
  2. Take the quail, rinse with with water, dry and then stuff one slice of lemon into each quail. Tie each quail up by placing the string behind the bird, above the wings, wrap over the top under the breast (but above the legs), and then loop up and tie the legs together (easy to do, hard to explain). Salt each one and then place them into the hot oil and quickly brown each side.
  3. Once brown, remove from the tagine and add the onions. Stir and cook for a few minutes until they start to become clear. Add the spices and garlic all at once (not the saffron). Stir quickly and then add 1 cup of water. Stir well, making sure the spices come off the bottom. Add the cilantro, parsley and saffron. Let this cook for several minutes to allow the flavors to blend (about 10 minutes or so).
  4. Stir in the butter and then add the quail and olives. Cover the tagine and cook for 10 - 15 minutes, or until the quail is cooked through.
  5. Serve over the turnip and potato mash. Don't forget to pour on some of the sauce.
Turnip and Potato Mash
Serving Size = 2
  • 3 small potatoes
  • 1 large turnip
  • 1 tablespoon or so of heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/2 - 1 tablespoon of sour cream
  • Salt/Pepper
  1. You can do this two different ways. One, peel and cut up the turnips, peel and cut up the potatoes, place each into different saucepans, cover with water and boil until tender. OR, and this is the way I do it, place both into the same saucepan and boil until tender (I usually cut the turnips a TINY bit smaller than the potatoes because I feel like they take a little longer to cook). The first way is the safest way, the second way is the lazy Elsa way. :)
  2. Drain well, add the butter and start mashing. Be careful with the amount of cream and sour cream, just add a touch, continue to mash. Then, using a hand mixer, mix it well until it's smooth and almost fluffy (this also helps thicken it up a bit). 
Click here for more tagine info.

PS: You don't need a tagine, you could use a heavy pot as well.

Linking to: Savory Sunday, Mangia Mondays, What's on Your Plate, Hearth and Soul


France said...

Quail always sounds like such an exotic meal to me. It looks lovely and I love the mix of all those flavorful spices and the acidity of the olives. Loooks great Elsa.

Miriam said...

I love food blogs, so I'll be following you now :) That turnip and potato mash sounds wonderful!
Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Alea Milham said...

It has been so long since I've had quail. Your quail looks fantastic, as does the turnip and potato mash. Tying the legs was a good idea, one of those things that I tend to overlook when cooking poultry, but it definitely makes for a better picture. :) Thank you for sharing your joy and your recipes with the Hearth and Soul Hop!

Melynda said...

I will have to bookmark this, I am sure quail or gam birds will show up on our table, Thanks for sharing with the Heath and Soul hop.

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