A superb stuffing mixture keeps this quail moist and flavorful as it cooks to perfection!
4 quails, intestines removed and discarded
1 small onion, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped chestnuts
1 tbs pine nuts
2 garlic cloves, pureed
2 tsp thyme
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 cup red wine
10 clove sticks
salt and pepper to taste
1 oz sweet Red Wine
1 oz Campari (Red Vermouth)
1 tbs honey
1 ts thyme
For side dish
2 cups dry cracked bulgur wheat
1 stock cube
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven at 390° F.
Start by thoroughly cleaning and washing the quails. Make sure all the intestines are discarded. Squeeze the juice out of one lemon and mix with an ounce of plain red wine. Drain the quails and set aside in a deep plate. Pour the lemon juice and wine mixture over them, and leave for half an hour, rotating a couple of times during that period.
Mix the sauce ingredients together, using a large glass.
Then proceed to make the stuffing. Take a small frying pan and put some of the olive oil in it and all of the butter.
Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, one tsp of thyme and the pine nuts.
Cook over moderate-high heat for 8 minutes, and add the chestnuts when finished and removed from heat. Set aside.
Drain the quails from the marinating mixture.
Throw pinches of salt and pepper inside them and proceed to stuff them with the mixture you prepared with the use of a small spoon. Keep aside whatever mixture is left.
Take a square 8×8 inch aluminum (or other) pan and pour in the remaining olive oil.
Add salt, pepper and some of the thyme on it. The reason for this is that it will be very difficult to turn the quails halfway through their cooking, so they need these underneath, to ensure flavor on those sides.
Put the quails in the pan, chest upwards, and stick a clove on the top of each one.
Throw around the remaining six clove sticks, and pour over them the sauce you prepared earlier. Grind fresh pepper and salt on them, and a little bit of thyme.
Cover with aluminum foil and place in the oven. They need to remain covered for 40 minutes.
While the quails are cooking it is a good time to prepare the bulgur wheat side dish.
Take a deep 9 inch pot, suitable for soups. Use two and a half times as much water as the bulgur wheat and bring to a boil adding just a little bit of salt and the stock cube.
Add the remaining stuffing mixture if any, and stir. As soon as you add the wheat, turn the heat to the lower setting possible and cover. It will take about half an hour for the wheat to be ready. After that time turn heat off and leave there.
Take the pan out of the oven, after about 40 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and discard.
Use a large spoon (or small ladle) and pour the pan juices all over the quails. Do this a few times for each quail.
Put back in the oven and raise the heat to 450. Leave for 10 minutes or until browned to your taste.
Remove and serve with the bulghur wheat, sprinkling the remaining pan juices over the wheat.