Sunday, November 17, 2013


(Quails in Pastry Cases)

Make the sarcophages
3 cups of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 cup vodka (yes, vodka), chilled,
1/2 cup water, chilled
1/4 cup water, chilled

3 sticks (24 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

First thing is to combine the flour, sugar and salt. This is done in the food processor. Just put all those dry ingredients in it and pulse it for about 5 to 10 seconds.

Now, with the processor running, add the lemon juice, the vodka and the 1/2 cup of water in a slow and steady stream. Add the remaining 1/4 cup water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together and no flour bits remain.

Turn the dough onto a sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into 6-inch square. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for about an hour.


Lay butter sticks side by side on a sheet of parchment paper.

Now, dust this with the two tablespoons of flour.

Now place a second piece of parchment paper on top and gently pound the butter with your palms or with a rolling pin to softened it and incorporate the flour and roll it into an 8-inch square. 

Wrap the square in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, about an hour.

After chilling the dough and butter square, roll the chilled dough into an 11-inch square on a lightly floured surface. Place the chilled butter square diagonally in the center.

Fold corners of dough up over the butter square so that corners meet in the middle and pinch the dough seams to seal.. Using rolling pin, gently tap dough, starting from center and working outward, until square becomes larger and butter begins to soften. Gently roll dough into 14-inch square, dusting with extra flour as needed to prevent sticking. 

Now fold the dough into thirds like a business letter, then fold the rectangle in thirds to form a square.

Wrap dough in plastic and let rest in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Repeat this twice (yes, twice!). That is, roll it out on a floured surface into a 14 inch square, fold like a business letter and then fold into a square and then wrap in plastic and then refrigerate for 2 hours. Then repeat.

This amount of puff pastry dough should be enough for 10 coffins. So, I froze half of it by wrapping in plastic and then in aluminum foil. Should keep about six months.

To make the coffins, first preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface, large enough to cut out the coffins. I first tried a 5-inch circle for each coffin. Next time it will be a 6-inch or 7-inch circle. (Texas quail are big!)

Cut out these large circles and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

Now, cut a smaller circle (I tried a 3-inch in the 5-inch circle) but do not cut all the way through! You want to make a lid for the coffin.

Bake for 22 minutes or until puffed and golden. Carefully lift out the lid to create the coffin and a lid. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Will need a double recipe in order to have enough for six servings.

Now for the quails.

6 quails, semi-boneless
6 pastry cases (from above)
18 ounces foie gras, some cut into 12 thin slices, the rest cut in ¼ inch cubes
1-1/2 ounce truffles, sliced thinly into at least 18 slices
1-1/2 Tbs butter
1-1/2 cups white wine
¾ cups chicken stock
¾ cups demi-glace
24  figs, quartered 
Need to make the stuffing for the birds. The birds will then be smoked and then broiled.

  1. Season inside of the quails with salt and pepper. Pay a slice of foie gras in each quail cavity followed by 3 truffle slices and top with more foie gras. Truss the quails. Season the outsides with salt and pepper and olive oil.
  2. Smoke quails in stove top smoker for 25 minutes. When finished, cover legs with aluminum foil and pop under broiler for 3 – 5 minutes to brown skins.
  3. While quails are cooking, place a skillet over high heat on top of stove. Pour in the wine and bring to boil. Pour in stock and demi-glace and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in figs and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the 1/4 – inch cubes of foie gras and simmer, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes until sauce is reduced to 1 cup. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. To serve, put each quail in a pastry nest. Drizzle with sauce, top with the pastry round and surround with the figs.

No comments:

Post a Comment