Maggie Beer

Roast Quail Stuffed with Fig, Fennel, Lemon Zest and Tarragon

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Step 1: Preheat a fan forced oven to 200C

Step 2: Remove quails from fridge thirty minutes prior to cooking so they come up to room temperature.

Step 3: Place a medium non-stick fry pan over a medium heat, place in half of the butter, once this starts to turn nut brown add one tablespoon of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil to inhibit the butter from burning.

Step 4: Place the fennel and rosemary into the pan and gently cook for approximately five minutes or until soft, then deglaze with half of the Verjuice. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Step 5: Add the roughly chop the figs, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, season with salt and pepper to taste and gently mix into the fennel mixture.

Step 6: Divide the stuffing in half and place into the cavity of each quail. Then tuck the wing tips in behind the breast and tie up the legs.

Step 7: Place a medium non stick fry pan over a medium heat and add the remaining butter. Once this starts to turn nut brown, place in one tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and gently seal the quail on all sides until brown.

Step 8: Reserve the fry pan used to cook the quail to cook the spinach later.

Step 9: Place the quails onto a baking tray, lined with baking paper, breast side up.

Step 10: Add the remaining Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Verjuice into a mixing bowl and combine well.

Step 11: Rub quail skin with this mix, then place into the oven and cook for ten minutes or until the juice runs clear when inserting a skewer.

Step 12: Remove from the oven, put on warm plate and turn over (breast facing down) and allow to rest for six minutes.

Step 13: Take the reserved fry pan used to brown the quail earlier and add one tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil and place over a high heat. Once hot, add the roughly chopped spinach and capers and cook for thirty seconds or until leaves are cooked but still retain their crunch and the capers are golden.

Step 14: Brush the cut side of the figs with Vino Cotto and place on a hot grill for one to two minutes until burnished, then remove.

Step 15: Serve the quail with sautéed spinach and capers and grilled figs.


  1. 70g 1/2 cup fennel bulb small dice
  2. 1 tspn rosemary finely chopped
  3. 40ml 2 tbspn Verjuice
  4. 2 fresh figs roughly chopped
  5. 1/2 lemon zested
  6. 25g 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  7. 5 large spinach leaves washed and stripped
  8. 10g 1 tbspn capers rinsed
  9. 4 fresh figs cut in half lengthways
  10. 20ml 1 tbspn Vino Cotto

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