Thank you to our friend, Richard Bainbridge, for letting us share with you his recipe for Stuffed Norfolk Quail with Pearl Barley that is often on the menu at his fantastic restaurant in Norwich, Benedicts.

Serves: 4 adults, as a main course
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 70 minutes
Difficulty: 3 out of 5

Main

  • 4 quail, deboned from the bottom up and trimmed of any excess fat
  • 500g sausage meat
  • 150g diced back fat
  • 75g chicken liver, trimmed cleaned and diced
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, sweated down
  • 1 jar of chutney, of your choice
  • 1 tsp french mustard
  • 5g sea salt
  • 2g white pepper
  • 25g chervil, finely chopped
  • 25g parsley, finely chopped
  • 25g tarragon, finely chopped

Chicken Jus

  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 sticks of celery
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1l white wine
  • 2l veal stock
  • 2l chicken stock
  • 1kg chicken bones
  • small knob of putter
  • 10g flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 10g chervil, chopped
  • 10g chives, chopped

Carrots

  • 4 organic Norfolk carrots
  • 250g salted butter
  • salt and pepper

Parsnips

  • 4 young parsnips
  • 250g salted butter
  • water, to cover
  • salt

Onions

  • 4 small onions
  • knob of butter
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • rapeseed oil

Pearl Barley

  • 200g pearl barley, soaked over night in water
  • 1 leek, tinkly sliced
  • 250ml white wine
  • 2l chicken stock, boiling
  • ½ bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of chervil, finely chopped
  • 75g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 250g salted butter

Quail with Stuffing

Get all ingredients for the stuffing into a large bowl and mix well (fry a little burger off to check for seasoning).

Place the bird on the table with the front of the bird looking at you, place a small amount of the stuffing into the legs and a small sausage in the middle of the bird.

Using a trusted needle sew the bird back up.

Using more string tie the bird back up so it looks like an oven ready bird.

Put a pan onto a high heat hob, season the bird with salt and seal all over until golden.

Place in the oven at 180°C for 10-12 minutes.

Remove from oven and let rest for 20-30 minutes.

Remove string before serving.

Chicken Jus

Put a medium sized pot on a high heat, add the chicken bones and fry off until golden brown.

Remove from pot and do the same with the chopped vegetables.

Place the roasted chicken bones back to the pot with the vegetables and add the white wine, bring to the boil and reduce by ¾.

Then add the two different stocks, garlic and herbs, bring to the boil.

Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and skim.

Cook the sauce out for about 45 minutes.

Pass through muslin into a clean pot and return to a high heat and reduce to the consistency you want.

To finish the sauce add a little white wine and small knob of butter and the chopped herbs.

Organic Carrots

Put butter into a pot big enough for the carrots to sit happily in and place on the stove top.

Once the butter has started to foam, add the carrots and continue to roast slowly for 1 hour.

Season with salt and pepper.

Young Parsnips

Neatly peel each parsnip making sure they still look like parsnips.

Place in a pot and add butter, cover with cold water and little table salt.

Place on a high heat and bring to the boil.

Once boiling turn down the heat and simmer with a lid until tender.

Small Onions

Skin the onions and leave whole, then blanch in water.

Add butter, thyme and bay leaf until just tender.

Remove the onions from cooking juices and slice in half.

Place a frying pan on a high heat, when hot add a little rapeseed oil and add onions.

Get a lovely colour, then season.

Pearl Barley

Place a large pot onto a medium heat, add 50g of butter, add the leeks and slowly start to sweat off.

Once fully cooked add the pearl barley and white wine, let the wine reduce by ¾.

Add enough chicken stock to cover and stir well, let the barley cook a little like risotto.

After 5 minutes you will have to add more stock until the barley is soft and tender.

To finish the barley add the rest of the butter and the parmesan.

Stir well and at the last moment add herbs.

Check seasoning.