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Author Notes: Porchetta meets the culinary king of fowl - quail. At our house, we experiment with alot of porchetta inspired variations. This remains a favorite. —sumradagnoth
- 8 quails, sleeve-boned
- fennel pollen
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 2 tbsp
- 8 thin slices of pancetta
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup finely chopped italian parsley
- 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 links of sweet italian pork sausage, removed from casing
- 1/2 bulb of fennel, 1/4" dice
- 1 small bunch of sage, chopped, plus a handful of whole leaves
- 1 egg, lightly beaten (or use 2 quail eggs!)
- salt, to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350.
- Make the stuffing: Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large roasting pan over medium heat. Add fennel and garlic and a pinch of salt and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Add the sausage and cook until just cooked through. Stir in chopped sage and check seasoning. Remove to a bowl and allow to completely cool.
- Mix the egg into the stuffing mixture.
- Season quail with salt and a light dusting of fennel pollen.
- Place a conservative amount of the stuffing into each quail and tie the legs with twine to secure them. Wrap each bird with a piece of pancetta (secure with toothpicks if needed).
- Heat the rest of the oil in the same roasting pan over high heat and quickly brown the birds on both sides. Transfer quail to a plate and turn off the heat.
- Add wine to the roasting pan, scraping up any browned bits. Add quail back to the pan and place in the oven.
- While the quail is cooking, fry the whole sage leaves in a bit of extra-virgin olive oil. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and lightly sprinkle with salt.
- Cook in the oven until everything is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Make sure the pan doesn't dry out. If it does, add a splash of more wine. Remove quail to a serving platter. Cut into slices, if desired.
- Add parsley to the pan juices and drizzle over the top of the quail. Top with fried sage leaves and serve.