Pan-Roasted Quail Salad with Smokey Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Makes 2 to 4 servings
4 boned quail (see note below)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbls apple juice or cider
2 tbls apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp ground smoked poblanos
6 tbls extra virgin olive oil
1 tbls creme fraiche
3 medium carrots, preferably white or yellow, peeled, cut into thin diagonal slices and steamed
2 generous handfuls small salad greens
Set the quail on a clean work surface, pat off any excess moisture and season all over with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Put the apple juice (or cider), vinegar and ground poblanos into a small Mason jar. Season with 3/4 tsp kosher salt and several generous turns of black pepper. Add the olive oil and creme fraiche, close jar and shake vigorously. Taste and correct for salt and pepper.
Put the carrots into a small bowl and drizzle some of the dressing over them. Set aside.
Brush a heavy ridged pan very lightly with olive oil and set over high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the quail and top with a heavy lid or tile. Cooking for three minutes, remove lid or tile, turn over, return lid or tile and cook for three minutes more. Transfer to a work surface.
Divide greens among individual plates and scatter carrots over each portion. Top with quail, spoon dressing over evertying and serve immediately.
Note: "boned" quail is only partially boned; leg and wing bones remain. But removing the breat bones flattens the quail and allow it to be grilled in this manner, resulting in succulent and rare meat. You can usually find boned quail in Asian markets, though it is not local.