Quail escabèche with Middle Eastern spices

Quail escabèche with Middle Eastern spices

By
From
Arabesque
Photographer
William Meppem

Escabèche is a traditional Spanish and Portuguese dish, using fish or little game birds like quail and partridge. These are fried or poached, then cooked and allowed to cool in a spicy marinade for 24 hours or so. They are served at room temperature as a tapas dish or as a light meal. The sourness of sumac works really well with the tangy lime marinade. Serve with warm crusty bread as a starter or a light lunch.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 jumbo quail
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Ras el hanout
100ml olive oil
1 large green chilli, de-seeded, scraped and finely shredded
2 onions, finely sliced
2 medium ripe tomatoes, skinned, de-seeded cut into large dice
2 limes, juiced, plus the zest of 1
2 teaspoons sumac
salt and pepper

Method

  1. Cut the quail in half and trim off excess fat.
  2. Crush garlic with the salt and add 1 tablespoon of the Ras El Hanout and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Rub this mixture all over the quail pieces and let them sit for 1–2 hours.
  3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a heavy-based pan and place the quail pieces in, skin side down. Cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until they become golden. Turn them and cook a further 5 minutes. Remove the quail from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  4. Lower the heat and add the chilli, onions, tomatoes and lime juice and zest. Allow to sweat gently until the onions become very soft and translucent (about 10–15 minutes). Place the quail back on top of the onion mix and cook on the same low heat for a further 8–10 minutes.
  5. Place the quail in a serving dish and pour hot marinade over the top.
  6. Allow to cool, then cover and refrigerate overnight. Allow to return to room temperature before eating.
Tags:
Middle East
Middle Eastern
Arabic
Arabian
Arabesque
Greg
Lucy
Malouf
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