BBQ quail with sausages & confit tomatoes

BBQ quail with sausages & confit tomatoes

By
From
James Martin's French Adventure
Serves
4
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Legend is a word that gets used too often, I think, but in the food world the Roux family stand tall. Hard work, skill and dedication have kept them at the top of their game for so many years. This dish is ace. Better still, I cooked it with the legendary Michel Roux Snr himself at his house in France – and even better, he’s a great friend. This is one of the best cooking moments I’ve had on TV since I started this game more than twenty years ago.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the confit tomatoes

Quantity Ingredient
1kg plum tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
good handful thyme sprigs
100ml olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic or sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon icing sugar

For the quail and sausages

Quantity Ingredient
4 whole quail
4 toulouse sausages
3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
50ml olive oil
1 garlic bulb, cut in half
4 slices sourdough bread
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. For the confit tomatoes, preheat the oven to 110°C. Halve the tomatoes lengthways and place in a roasting tin with the rest of the ingredients. Mix everything together with your hands, then arrange the tomatoes in rows, cut sides up. Cook in the oven for 1 hour, then turn them over and cook for another 1–1½ hours, until very tender and slightly shrivelled. (You only need 10 tomato halves for this recipe, but the rest will keep in the fridge for up to a week and are great in sandwiches and salads.)
  2. For the quail and sausages, preheat the BBQ: when the coals are silvery in colour, it’s ready.
  3. Using poultry shears or a heavy knife, cut out the undercarriages of the quail and open out the birds, pressing down with the heel of your hand to flatten (or ask your butcher to spatchcock the quail for you).
  4. Place the sausages on the BBQ and cook, turning occasionally, for about 12–15 minutes until nicely browned and cooked through.
  5. In a small bowl, mix the thyme with the olive oil, then brush the quail with this thyme oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the quail on the BBQ, skin side down, and cook for about 5 minutes, then turn and cook for a further 4–5 minutes. Remove from the BBQ and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, put 10 confit tomato halves into a small saucepan and warm gently, either on the stovetop or to one side of the BBQ. Rub the cut sides of the garlic over the bread, then grill the bread on the BBQ.
  7. To serve, place the chargrilled bread on a board or serving platter and spoon over the warm confit tomatoes. Lay the quail on the bread, drizzling them with some of the olive oil from the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, then scatter the sausages over the top.
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