Whole Roast Quail with Wild Mushroom Stuffing and Hazelnut Gratin

Rosemary Shrager's flavoursome roast quail are accompanied by a deliciously nutty potato gratin and garnished with fennel and grapes
By Rosemary Shrager
Whole Roast Quail with Wild Mushroom Stuffing and Hazelnut Gratin
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 4 whole boned quails

For the stuffing

  • 100 g wild mushrooms, stems removed
  • 15 g unsalted butter
  • 1 squeeze lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp double cream
  • 1 skinless, boneless breast of quail
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 tsp finely chopped parsley

For the sauce

  • 40 g unsalted butter
  • 2 leeks, cut into 1cm rounds
  • 100 ml water
  • 300 ml double cream
  • freshly grated nutmeg

For the gratin

  • 100 g hazelnuts
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 500-700 g waxy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • butter

For the garnish

  • 1 bulbs fennel
  • oil, for shallow frying
  • 12 grapes, peeled


1. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7

2. To make the stuffing; chop the mushroom caps finely in a food processor.

3. Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the mushrooms with the lemon juice over a high heat until the moisture has evaporated.

4. Add 1 teaspoon cream, season to taste with salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Leave to cool.

5. Place the quail breasts in a food processor and process until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons beaten egg white, season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the parsley and the mushroom purée.

6. Stuff the whole quail with the mushroom stuffing and roast for about 25 minutes turning the birds around half way through the cooking time. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

7. To make the sauce; melt the butter in a pan with the water and a pinch of salt. Add the leeks, cover the pan and cook until very soft.

8. Process the leeks to a purée in a food processor, then add the cream and season to taste with salt and pepper.

9. Sieve the leek mixture into a small pan and season with freshly ground white pepper and nutmeg while the quail is cooking.

10. To make the hazelnut gratin; spread the hazelnuts on a baking tray and roast for 5 minutes. Fold into a tea towel and rub to remove the skins. Roughly chop the hazelnuts in a food processor.

11. Reduce the oven temperature to 150C/gas 2

12. Butter the 4 ramekins.

13. Bring the cream to the boil in a pan. Add the potato slices and garlic and season with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg.

14. Half fill each baking ramekin with the potato mixture.

15. Scatter over a layer of hazelnuts and cover with the remaining potato. Finish with a sprinkling of nuts.

16. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes until the potatoes are cooked. Remove the foil and brown under the grill.

17. To make the garnish; Slice the fennel bulb into strips and boil for 1 minute. Drain well.

18. Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the fennel strips until lightly browned.

19. Reheat the sauce.

20. Serve the quail whole, garnished with the grapes and fennel, accompanied by the sauce and hazelnut gratin.

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