Quail Stuffed with Fresh Figs and Prosciutto

Daniel Boulud sometimes makes this signature dish with squab, with a cube of foie gras in the stuffing.

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  • Servings: 8


  • 24 small, ripe Mission figs
  • 2 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, cut lengthwise into 16 strips
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 16 partially boned quail
  • 1/4 cup pure olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 475°. Wrap 16 of the figs with the 16 prosciutto strips. In a small bowl, mix 2 teaspoons of salt with 1 teaspoon of pepper and the cardamom. Season the wrapped figs and the quail cavities with some of the spice mixture. Stuff each quail with a wrapped fig. Season the quail all over with the remaining spice mixture.

  2. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add 6 of the quail and cook over high heat until browned all over, about 4 minutes. Transfer the quail to a shallow roasting pan. Repeat with the remaining quail in 2 batches, using 1 tablespoon of the olive oil each time.

  3. Roast the quail on the top rack of the oven for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 8 figs to the pan and roast for 5 minutes longer, or until the quail are just cooked through and an instant-read thermometer inserted in a breast registers 130°. Transfer the quail and figs to a platter.

  4. Set the roasting pan over 2 burners on moderate heat. Add the wine and simmer, scraping the pan to loosen any browned bits; add any accumulated quail juices and simmer briefly. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk the butter into the sauce, 1 tablespoon at a time. Transfer the quail to plates and drizzle with the sauce. Garnish with the roasted figs and serve.

Suggested Pairing

A red with softer tannins and a nose with a hint of spice will highlight the cardamom in the quail. Try a Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.

Contributed By Photo © James Baigrie Published September 2002

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