Whole roasted quail with grapes and salsify

Martin Blunos combines roast quail with pan-fried salsify and grapes to create a stylish and delicious dinner party dish
By Martin Blunos
Whole roasted quail with grapes and salsify
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 4 large quails
  • salt, and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 clove garlic, peeled and halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • juice of 1 lemons, plus extra if desired
  • 1.2 -1.7 litres cold water
  • 500 g salsify
  • 150 ml white wine
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 200 g seedless white grapes, peeled
  • 20 g unsalted butter
  • 300 ml chicken stock


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7.

2. Remove the wishbone from the quails and season inside with salt and freshly ground pepper. Place a sprig of thyme and half a clove of garlic in the cavity of each quail.

3. Using string, tie the quail legs to breasts to reshape the quails.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the quails on all sides for 1-2 minutes on each side, then transfer to a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

5. Remove the roast quails from the oven and cover with foil to keep warm and rest.

6. Meanwhile, mix the flour and half the lemon juice with the cold water in a large saucepan.

7. Add in the salsify and remaining lemon juice. Mix well to help stop the salsify from discolouring.

8. Place the pan on the stove, bring to the boil and cook until the salsify is tender. Drain the salsify, refresh in cold water and dry well.

9. In a small pan, place 50ml of the white wine, the caster sugar and the grapes.

10. Bring to the boil and cook briskly until syrupy, then mix in 10g of butter.

11. Meanwhile, in a separate pan heat together the remaining wine and chicken stock and cook briskly until reduced by a third.

12. Whisk in the remaining butter, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and add in lemon juice if desired.

13. Heat the remaining olive oil in a frying pan. Add in the salsify and fry until golden.

14. To serve, place the fried salsify on 4 warm serving plates. Top each serving with a roast quail, removing the string. Scatter around the grapes and spoon over the chicken stock sauce. Serve at once.

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