Sausage and apricots highlight a fragrant stuffing for quail. Tie quail legs together with string or dental floss.
INGREDIENTS (for 1 servings):
- 4 slices bacon
- vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
- 1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 pound ground pork sausage
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- 3/4 cup Riesling wine, divided
- 10 quail, dressed
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
- Garnish: fresh parsley sprigs
COOK bacon in a large skillet until crisp; remove bacon, reserving drippings. Crumble bacon, and set aside. Measure drippings, and add enough vegetable oil to measure 1/2 cup. Set aside.
STIR together cornmeal and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir together eggs, buttermilk, and drippings mixture. Add to cornmeal mixture, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Fold in bacon and 3/4 cup pecans. Spoon batter into a greased 9- x 5-inch loaf pan.
BAKE at 325 degrees for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes; remove from pan, and cool completely. Brown sausage in a large skillet, stirring until it crumbles and is no longer pink. Remove from heat; stir in ginger, and set aside.
SLICE ends from cornbread loaf, and crumble enough to measure 1 cup. Slice remaining cornbread into 10 slices, and set aside.
STIR together sausage mixture, cornbread crumbs, remaining 1/2 cup pecans, and apricots. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup wine, and stir well. Rinse quail thoroughly with cold water; pat dry. Spoon 1/4 cup stuffing mixture into body cavity of each quail. Secure each cavity with wooden picks, and tie legs together with string. Combine 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper; dredge stuffed quail in flour mixture. Melt butter in a large heavy skillet. Add quail, and brown on both sides. Remove quail from skillet, and arrange in a 13- x 9-inch pan. Add remaining 1/2 cup wine to drippings in skillet; bring to a boil, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Spoon over quail. Bake, covered, at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
TOAST cornbread slices, and cut into triangles. Arrange cornbread around quail on a platter; garnish, if desired.
Reprinted with permission of Southern Living® magazine. All rights reserved.