Roast quail with fig and apricots and a watercress and crispy pancetta salad

For a tasty meal try James Tanner's fruit-stuffed quail, served with a pancetta salad and a rich red wine sauce
By James Tanner
Roast quail with fig and apricots and a watercress and crispy pancetta salad
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 1
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 1 quail, boned out
  • 1 pinches black pepper
  • 2 dried apricots, sliced
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 figs, quatered
  • 1 tsp thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sage, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 50 g butter

For the salad

  • 3 slices pancetta
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunches watercress, picked into sprigs

For the red wine sauce

  • 100 ml red wine
  • 100 ml chicken stock
  • 1 pinches black pepper
  • 40 g butter


1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4. Lay the quail out on a tray and season on both sides with salt and freshly ground pepper. 2. Fry the apricots in a frying pan in the balsamic vinegar for 2 minutes, reducing the vinegar by half. 3. Add the fig to the pan, coating well, then add the chopped thyme and sage and mix well. 4. Put this mixture inside the quail and secure the quail with the cocktail sticks. 5. Heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan. Add the quail and fry until browned on all sides. 6. Transfer to a roasting tin and roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until tender7. To make the salad, fry the pancetta in the olive oil till crispy. Place the crispy pancetta on top of the watercress. 8. In another saucepan, boil the wine until reduced by half. Add the chicken stock and reduce by half again. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper and whisk in the butter. 9. Slice the quail in half and serve with the salad, spooning the sauce around.

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