Grilled Quail with Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

Guinea pig is considered a delicacy in Peru, especially in its mountain towns. At Andina, Emmanuel Piqueras substitutes quail marinated in an ancho-spiked vinaigrette. He serves it with a risotto-like quinoa side dish flavored with earthy shiitake, which remind him of a mushroom that grows in Peru's rain forest.


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  • Servings: 6

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  • 1 ancho chile
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup black quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup white quinoa, rinsed
  • 6 medium dried shiitakes (1/2 ounce)
  • 1/2 cup white wine, heated until hot
  • 4 garlic cloves—3 chopped, 1 minced
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 large red onion, cut crosswise into 6 slices
  • 6 semiboneless quail
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/4 pound fresh shiitakes, stems discarded, caps cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil

How to make this recipe

  1. In a heatproof bowl, cover the ancho chile with the boiling water and let soak until softened, about 20 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, bring 2 medium saucepans of salted water to a boil. Add the black quinoa to one saucepan and the white quinoa to the other. Boil over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes for the white quinoa and 20 minutes for the black quinoa. Drain the quinoa and transfer to a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature.

  3. In another heatproof bowl, cover the dried shiitakes with the hot wine. Let stand until softened, about 15 minutes. Lift the mushrooms out of the wine; reserve the wine. Discard the shiitake stems. Cut the caps into 1/2-inch dice.

  4. Remove the ancho chile from the hot water and discard the stem and seeds. In a food processor, puree the ancho with 1/4 cup of the soaking water, the chopped garlic, white wine vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the ancho puree to a large, shallow dish and stir in the sugar. Add the onion slices to the puree and turn to coat well. Let marinate for 15 minutes.

  5. In a shallow dish, add the quail to the remaining puree, turning to coat well. Let marinate for 15 minutes.

  6. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Oil the grill or grill pan. Season the quail with salt and pepper and grill over a hot fire or high heat until lightly charred but still pink at the breast, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the quail to a platter and cover loosely with foil. Oil the grill and grill the onions over a hot fire or over high heat until charred, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer to the platter.

  7. In a large saucepan, melt the butter in the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the yellow pepper, the fresh and dried shiitakes and the minced garlic clove and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the reserved wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add the heavy cream and water and bring to a boil. Add the black and white quinoa and stir to heat through. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, chives and basil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the grilled quail and onion slices to plates and serve with the mushroom quinoa risotto.

Suggested Pairing

Until now, Chile has not gotten much recognition for its Pinot Noirs. But new vineyards in the Casablanca region are starting to produce topflight bottlings.

Contributed By Published July 2005

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