Warm Salad of Quail and Bacon

The rich meat in John Burton Race's delicious salad is offset by the nutty flavour of the walnut vinaigrette and the creamy texture of quails' eggs
By John Burton Race
Warm Salad of Quail and Bacon
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 6 rashers smokedstreaky bacon, cut into 5mm strips
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 quail, wishbones removed
  • 10 button mushrooms, halved
  • 50 g mixed salad leaves
  • 2 tbsp vinaigrette walnut oil
  • 10 g unsalted butter
  • 4 quail's eggs
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 4 croutons, made from slices of French bread
  • 1 sprig chervil


1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7.

2. Bring a small pan of water to the boil, add the bacon and bring back to the boil, strain the bacon and run under some cold water and drain on kitchen paper.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Season the quails with salt and fry in the pan until browned on all sides.

4. Lay the quails on their backs in a roasting tin and roast for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and put them on a plate.

5. In the same frying pan, heat the remaining olive oil and add the bacon, fry quickly until brown. Add the mushrooms and lightly fry until the mushrooms are golden.

6. Remove the legs from the quails and with the point of a small knife, remove the thigh bone. Run the knife along the breast bone and cut the meat away from the carcass. Cover and keep warm.

7. In a bowl, gently toss the salad leaves with the vinaigrette and divide into four mounds placed in the centre of each plate. Spoon the bacon and mushrooms around the salad.

8. Heat a small frying pan and melt the butter. Cut open the quails eggs and fry gently. Season with a little salt and pepper and a splash of sherry vinegar. Place the one of the fried eggs on top of each crouton.

9. Add the warm quail pieces to the salad and top with a crouton and a small leaf of picked chervil.

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