If tunnel-boning a quail is a bit tricky for you, you can request that your butcher bone it for you. The Chefs' Line
- 1 eggplant
- 1 small bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped
- 1 long red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) extra virgin olive oil
- sea salt flakes
- 4 quails, tunnel boned
- 2 tbsp chopped pistachios
- ½ tomato
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil, plus extra for pan-frying
- ½ brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 200 g (1 cup) basmati or long grain rice
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- Pinch ground cardamom
- 375 ml (1½ cups) boiling water
- 1 tsp salt
- 65 g (½ cup) chopped pistachios
- 65 g (½ cup) chopped walnuts
- 1 cup chopped parsley leaves
- ½ cup chopped spring onion
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Preheat the oven 180˚C.
Place the eggplant over a high flame on the stovetop and cook, turning occasionally, until blackened and blistered all over. Remove from the heat and when cool enough to handle, remove the skin and place the eggplant in a sieve over a bowl to drain the excess liquid. Set aside.
Combine the chopped parsley, spring onion, chilli and olive oil in a bowl and season with a pinch of salt.
For the stuffing, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion, and garlic until soft. Add the rice, spices, boiling water and salt, cover and reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until the rice has absorbed all the water. Remove from the heat and stand, covered until cooled to room temperature. Once the rice has cooled down, add the nuts, parsley, spring onions and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and stir until well combined.
Stuff the boned quail with the rice mix and close both the legs and wings with a toothpick or butchers twine. Heat a drizzle of oil in an ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat and cook the quail until golden on all sides. Transfer to the oven and roast for 9-10 minutes, then remove and rest for 3-4 minutes.
To serve, spread some roasted eggplant over each plate. Scatter with chopped pistachios and squeeze some tomato seeds and juice over the top. Place the quail in the centre of the plate and drizzle the herb and chilli oil over the top. Finish with a pinch of salt flakes.
This recipe is from Series 2 of The Chefs' Line airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Episodes will be available after broadcast via SBS On Demand. Join the conversation #TheChefsLine on Instagram @sbsfood, Facebook @SBSFood and Twitter @SBS_Food. Check out sbs.com.au/thechefsline for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more!