Baked Quail with Crab-stuffed Tomatoes & Game Bird Pot Pie

Baked Quail with Crab-stuffed Tomatoes

This recipe is a great way to use the tomatoes from the garden. Quail is such a mild white meat and in all actuality, it is virtually all breast meat. But you need more than one of these small game birds to really do most meals with them. If crabmeat isn’t in your budget to stuff the tomatoes, try it with bay shrimp or fresh, flaked fish. Serve the quail on a bed of lettuce and you have a meal.

Baked Quail    

8 dressed quail

8 thick onion slices

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1/2 cup dry white wine

olive oil

salt and pepper

Crab-Stuffed Tomatoes

If crabmeat isn’t in your budget, substitute it with bay shrimp or fresh, flaked fish.

4 large tomatoes, cored at stem end and hollowed out with spoon

2 cups crabmeat

1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs (if none, substitute with regular breadcrumbs)

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

olive oil

salt and pepper

Rub quail evenly with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Coat onion slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper as well. Place onion slices in a baking dish. Sprinkle brown sugar over onion and place 1 quail on each onion. Pour wine into dish, cover and bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for 12–15 minutes or until quail are just cooked thoroughly. Do not overcook.

In a bowl, combine crabmeat with next 5 ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Place crab stuffing inside tomatoes. Drizzle olive oil over tomatoes. Place the tomatoes in a baking dish and bake at 375 degrees for 6 to 7 minutes. For each serving, place 2 quail (with onion underneath) and one stuffed tomato on a plate.

Game Bird Pot Pie

Let’s suppose that you take a look in the freezer and find that you have quail, some pheasant breasts, a dove or two, maybe a rabbit. It’s not enough for individual meals, but if you throw it all into a pile, it’s dinner. You can make your own pastry dough. I make it even easier by buying prepared puff pastry dough from the freezer section of my grocery store.

14 ounces pastry dough, divided in half, rolled into two 12-inch circles

3 tablespoons butter

1/4 cup each of diced carrot, celery and onion

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup of half and half

1/4 cup dry white wine

2 1/2 cups game bird breast meat,

cut into 1-inch pieces

6 strips cooked bacon, drained and crumbled

1 1/2 cups artichoke hearts, quartered

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

8 ounces shredded jack cheese

1 egg mixed with 1/2 teaspoon cold water

Heat butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add carrot, celery and onion. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook for additional 2-3 minutes while stirring. Stir in a few tablespoons of half and half. Repeat until all of the half and half is incorporated into pan and the mixture is smooth. Stir in white wine. Allow mixture to cool.

Place one of the pastry circles in the bottom of a lightly greased pie pan. Combine meat, bacon, artichoke hearts, salt and pepper. Arrange mixture over the pastry in pie pan. Sprinkle cheese over it. Pour cooled sauce over and top with second pastry circle. Crimp top edges together, trim excess pastry. Brush top with beaten egg mixture. Bake in preheated 400-degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until top is golden brown and sauce is bubbling. Allow to cool for 3-4 minutes before serving.

Known as “The Sporting Chef,” Scott Leysath has been an executive chef for more than 20 years, and is a leading expert on cooking fish and game. Author of multiple cookbooks, including “The Sporting Chef’s Better Venison Cookbook,” he hosts “The Sporting Chef” and “Dead Meat” TV shows on Sportsman Channel or at SportingChef.com.