Stuffed Quails with Apricot Stilton and Raisin Sauce

Paul Gaylor shows us that small birds can mean big flavour in this recipe for cheese-stuffed quails with raisin sauce
By Paul Gayler
Stuffed Quails with Apricot Stilton and Raisin Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Effort: easy


  • 8 boneless quail
  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 100 g white stilton cheese, with apricot, coarsely grated
  • sunflower oil, for frying

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 60 ml sweet white wine, Sauternes or Muscat
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • 125 g seedless grapes
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 100 ml grape juice
  • 200 ml beef stock

To serve

  • buttered spinach
  • sautéedfresh wild mushrooms


1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 8.

2. Lay out the quails on a flat work surface, skin side down. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and cook the shallot and rosemary together until the shallot has softened.

4. Remove from the heat and cool.

5. Beat the shallots, and cheese together with the remaining butter; season to taste.

6. Fill the quails with a little of the stuffing and reshape to their original form. Arrange each one on a piece of buttered foil and twist both ends of the foil to secure them ready for roasting.

7. Heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan and fry the quails all over until golden.

8. Transfer to the oven and roast for 7-8 minutes, Remove and keep warm. The meat should still be slightly pink.

9. To make the sauce, soak the raisins in a little of the sweet wine. Set aside for 10 minutes to plump-up.

10. Drain off any excess fat from the pan and return to the heat.

11. Add the butter and grapes and cook for 30 seconds.

12. Pour over the white wine, sweet wine and grape juice and bring to the boil.

13. Add the raisins and cook-down until reduced by half.

14. Stir in the remaining butter and season to taste.

15. Serve 2 quails per person on a bed of spinach and mushrooms. Pour over the raisins and grape sauce and serve.

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