Jim’s quail and cabbage dumplings

Jim’s quail and cabbage dumplings

Nuovo Mondo
Alan Benson

Jim: I have designed my quail and cabbage dumplings using the influence of Stefano’s famed quail ravioli, which is the absolute epitome of perfection and simplicity. Rather than try to recreate it I have done the opposite and made it a little more complicated – but equally rewarding. Once mastered, it is quite easy, but it may take a few attempts.


Quantity Ingredient
4 quail, deboned, reserve the bones for the broth, see below
1/2 chicken breast, trimmed of sinew, meat chopped
1 free-range egg
5 sage leaves, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
100ml pouring cream
a good pinch salt
4 wombok leaves, blanched and refreshed in ice water
4 quail eggs, lightly fried, to serve
extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Quail broth

Quantity Ingredient
reserved quail bones, see above
1 carrot, chopped
2 french shallots, cut in half
2 sprig thyme
2 garlic cloves, cut in half
1 stick celery, chopped
1 litre Chicken stock


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Remove and discard the skin from two of the quail and dice the flesh. Refrigerate until needed.
  3. To make the quail broth, put the quail bones in a roasting tin and cook in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer the bones and all of the remaining ingredients to a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 2 hours. Strain and set aside. You will need to reheat before serving.
  4. Put the chicken breast in a food processor and process for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and repeat three times until very smooth. Add the egg and process for 15 seconds. Transfer to a mixing bowl, gently fold in the diced quail, sage, garlic, cream and salt. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 2 cm nozzle and refrigerate until needed.
  5. Cut the remaining quail in half lengthways (each piece should have breast and leg meat). Lay out four 25 cm squares of plastic wrap on a clean work surface. Cut the wombok leaves into 10–15 cm squares and place over the plastic wrap. Place a quail half on top of each and pipe about 2 tablespoons of the quail mixture in the middle. Wrap with the leaves to make parcels and tie the plastic wrap to enclose.
  6. Cook the dumplings in a saucepan of hot, not boiling, water, for 15 minutes, or until firm to touch. To serve, ladle the quail broth into serving bowls. Unwrap the dumplings and place each in a bowl. Top with a fried quail egg, drizzle with olive oil and serve.
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