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Blackened Bobwhite Quail Breasts
Category: Entrees




  • 6 boneless plantation quail breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

Dried Cherry-Pinot Noir Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup Pinot Noir
  • 1 1/2 cups Perfect Puree Cherry
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar, or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (optional)
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups wilted spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup watercress



Combine all of the ingredients, blending well.


Rub the blackening seasoning all over quail breasts until both sides are covered. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the olive oil shimmers, add the quail breast side down. Sear the quail quickly to brown, about 2 minutes on each side.

Remove the quail to an ovenproof plate or roasting pan, and place in the oven at 350ºF to finish cooking, about 10 minutes. While the quail is in the oven, make the sauce.

Dried Cherry-Pinot Noir Sauce

Heat the same skillet used to sear the quail over medium heat. Add the olive oil. When the olive oil shimmers, add the shallots. Saute shallots until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the Pinot Noir to the pan and de-glaze, stirring frequently and scraping up any browned bits, about 1 minute. Add the Perfect Puree Cherry puree, chicken stock, and cherries.

Bring to a simmer and allow to reduce by half, about 5 minutes. Stir in Dijon and brown sugar. Reduce heat to low. Add butter, stirring constantly, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve: In a ring mold, place the wilted spinach on the center of a large dinner plate and un-mold, top with the quail breast, drizzle the cherry sauce around plate, and top with a sunny side up quail egg.

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