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Stuffed Quail with Goat Cheese Grits and Madeira Sauce

Stuffed Quail with Goat Cheese Grits and Madeira Sauce

We have enjoyed making, serving and devouring this dish many times!

Stuffed Quail with Goat Cheese Grits and Madeira Sauce
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  • 3/4-pound veal stew meat, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup chopped canned tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon green peppercorns
  • 4 cups veal stock
  • 1/2 stick plus 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 cups fresh bread crumbs
  • 8 whole quails, semi-boneless
  • Essence, recipe follows
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup Madeira
  • 2 cups veal demi-glace
  • 4 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups quick white grits
  • 6 ounces’ goat cheese, crumbled

Emeril’s Essence Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large saucepan, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the veal, brown for 2 minutes. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 2 minutes.

Add the garlic, tomatoes, peppercorns, and stock. Bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until very tender.

Remove from the heat and cool completely. Strain the veal, reserving the liquid. In a food processor, fitted with a metal blade, add the veal and puree until smooth. Add the butter, bread crumbs, and 1/2 cup of the reserved poaching liquid. Season with salt and pepper. Using a sharp knife, split the back of the quail down the middle. Season the quail with Essence. Divide the stuffing into eighths. Form the mixture into round balls. Place each quail, skin side down, and place each ball of veal mixture in the center of the quail. Wrap the quail around the stuffing. Place each quail on a parchment lined baking sheet, breast side up.

Brush each quail with the melted butter. Place the quail in the oven and roast for 20 to 25 minutes. In a saucepan, over medium heat, add the Madeira. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce by half, about 4 minutes. Add the reduction and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.

In a saucepan, over medium heat, add the milk and remaining butter. Season with salt and pepper. Bring the liquid to a boil. Whisk in the grits. Stir constantly for 6 minutes or until tender. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and keep warm.

To serve, spoon the grits in the center of each plate. Place two quails on top of each plate of grits. Spoon the sauce over the quail.

Emeril’s Essence Directions:

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Yield: about 2/3 cup

Recipe from “New New Orleans Cooking”, by Emeril Lagasse and Jessie Tirsch. Published by William and Morrow, 1993. Recipe courtesy of Emeril Lagasse

Wine Pairing: We always lean towards a good quality, village level red Burgundy with this dish but any Pinot Noir will do nicely. If you happen to have a “Right-Bank” Bordeaux or Graves with some age on it, then by all means pop that cork! First Choice: 2009 Domaine Jean-Jacques Girard, Savigny-Lès-Beaune (750ml) – $36.99.
Savigny les Beaune is sandwiched between Beaune and the Grand Cru vineyards of Corton. Because of this, the wines are sometimes unfairly overlooked, but luckily for you, in turn, they offer tremendous value! The vines for the Jean-Jacques Girard SLB are an average of 50 years old “A very serious nose of forest floor, earth and fresh red pinot fruit kissed by a hint of kirsch complements the round, silky and impressive complex medium-bodied flavors that terminate in a balanced, linear, firm and moderately austere finish. This will need a few years to flesh out but it is the class of these Savigny…”Allen Meadows Burghound.

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