Nancy Oakes: Quail Stuffed with Foie Gras
Nancy Oakes, is indeed one of San Francisco’s most beloved Chefs. Virtually every reader’s poll of San Francisco Bay Area publications names Nancy Oakes as one of the most popular chef, and Boulevard as the favorite restaurant in San Francisco. During her years of study at the San Francisco Art Institute, Oakes was also known in San Francisco for her down-to-earth yet elegant service and hospitality while working at such places as Alexis on Nob Hill.As a self-taught chef, Oakes enhanced her philosophy with the knowledge she gained from great teachers under whom she served informally. From Girard Boyer and Taillevent to Guy Savoy and Joel Robuchon, Oakes learned to cherish all aspects of food from searching for the freshest ingredients to perfect service.
In 2001 Chef Nancy Oakes garnered a tremendous and much-deserved James Beard Foundation Award, for “Best Chef in California.”
Quail Stuffed with Foie Gras and Roasted Fresh Porcini, Sauteed Spinach and Potato Mousseline and Natural Jus
Cavendish Game Birds Natural Quail
Artisan Foie Gras
4 Whole Quail (boned out wings and the legs reremoved;
4 – (2 – 2 1/2 oz.) Fresh Artisan Foie Gras
4 – (2 – 2 1/2 oz.) Fresh Porcini Mushrooms
1 lbs. Fresh Spinach (preferably Savoy)
1 tbls. Olive Oil
1 tspn. Shallot (finely chopped)
1 small Garlic Clove (finely chopped)
Procedure Artisan Foie Gras:
Seasoned with salt, and freshly ground black pepper, sear but do not cooked all the way. Chill.
For the Spinach:
Heat a large sauté pan with the olive oil to medium. Add garlic and shallot to pan and lightly sauté, add spinach and sauté until soft. Drain in a colander and cool. When cool squeeze liquid out and set aside.
For the Porcini Mushrooms:
Sear and roast the porcinis in a small amount of olive oil, garlic clove, shallot, and 2 sprigs of thyme. Season with salt and pepper and add 1 tbls. of unsalted butter and chill.
For the Quail:
(Instructions on Handling the Quail)
Take care not to tear the skin. For the legs pull them away from the rest of the body and cut off, careful not to tear the skin. French the wings,bone half way up and pull the bone out of the body and cut away, again being careful not to cut or tear the skin. Reserve the legs and wings for the sauce.
Place the quails on a cutting board breast side down. Place the foie slices on board and top with the porcinis, finish with the spinach as the final layer. You will need to compress the layers lightly with your hand to form a compact package. Insert the packet into the quail with the foie gras facing the breast. Pull the skin over the packages and underneath the quail for a sealed breast. Chill stuffed quail for one hour. To cook sear quail in a medium sauce pan with 2 tbls. of olive oil. Preheat oven to 425. Sear the quail, breast side down sear lightly and flip onto back and sear to seal. Remove to a sheet tray and roast at 425 for 12 – 15 minutes.
Reserved Wings and Legs of Quail
1 tbls. Olive Oil
1/2 large Onion (coarsely chopped)
2 Garlic Cloves
3 Thyme Sprigs
1/2 cup Dry Sherry (fine quality)
1 1/2 cups Dark Chicken Stock
2 tbls. Butter (unsalted)
In a medium saucepan warm the olive oil, add the reserved quail pieces and the onion. Turn the heat to high and brown the quail and onion, cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Add the sherry and reduce until almost evaporated. Add the remaining ingredients except for the butter. Cook over medium heat until reduced by half, skim any foam that comes to the top which will give you a clearer sauce. Strain with a very fine strainer into another saucepan. Return pan to stove and heat until sauce bubbles, whisk in the butter and season with salt and pepper.
Potato Mousseline Ingredients:
2 each Russet Potatoes (cut into large dice)
3 tbls. Butter
Water (to cover)
Place potatoes in a medium size pot, put in enough water to just cover the potatoes.
Cook until soft. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid. Place the potatoes in a blender with the butter and pulse until smooth. Add a little of the reserved potato liquid to achieve a smooth consistency; thick but thin enough to spread. Season to taste with salt. Use caution with the hot potato liquid. Any leftover liquid can be used to make soup. Set mousseline aside and keep warm.
1. Cut quail in half width wise. You should be able to see each layer of the stuffing clearly.
2. With a 2 oz. ladle, spoon the potato mousseline in the center of the plate. Swirl the ladle into the mousseline to form a large ring on the plate. Place quail in center and spoon sauce around the outside of the plate.
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San Francisco, CA 94105
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