Quail stewed with melting onions, saffron and chickpeas

Quail stewed with melting onions, saffron and chickpeas

By
From
Saraban
Serves
6
Photographer
Mark Roper

I love these plump little game birds, and their succulent flesh is ideal for slow-braising in a fragrant, herby sauce such as this. The carrots and currants combine to add an enticing sweetness. Easy to make, it’s an impressive dinner-party dish.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 large purple onions, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, lightly crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
6 quail, legs tied
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
150g chickpeas, soaked overnight
or 200g canned chickpeas
4 baby carrots, trimmed and cut in half
1/3 cup oregano leaves
8 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
300ml good-quality chicken stock
2 tablespoons currants
lemon juice, squeezed
2-3 tablespoons Saffron liquid

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan or casserole dish over a low heat. Add the onion and garlic and fry gently until soft and translucent. Stir in the cardamom seeds and dried oregano and cook for another couple of minutes. Lift the mixture out of the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Season the quail with salt and pepper. Add a little more oil to the pan, if need be, and brown the quail thoroughly. Drain the soaked chickpeas (rinse and drain the canned ones, if using). Return the onion mixture to the pan and add the chickpeas, carrot and fresh herbs.
  3. Pour in the stock and saffron liquid. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer gently for 1–1½ hours, or until the quail and onions are very tender and the chickpeas are cooked. From time to time, skim away any impurities that rise to the surface.
  4. Towards the end of the cooking time, add the currants to the pan. Simmer for a further 4–5 minutes, then season with salt to your liking and stir in the lemon juice. Serve straight away.
Tags:
Saraban
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Iran
Iranian
Middle Eastern
Persian
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