When the Christmas holidays approach, not only seafood and expensive sausages invade supermarkets – sweets have been dominating shops for weeks – it is also easier to find game and birds such as quail perfectly clean and ready to cook. Stuffed and bakedThey are an option to take into account if we want to offer some special meat without resorting to large roasts.

The quail is a very small bird from which we already know that not much chicha is obtained, that is why it is necessary to take into account the rest of the menu before planning the recipe. If it is going to be longer and more forceful, one unit per person can be a good dish that will not overfill us, but if we want it to be the main one it will be better to double quantities to distribute two birds per person.

The filling can be varied to taste or improvised on the fly, as it does not have much mystery. Combining fresh and autumnal fruit such as apple with the flavor and fat of the bacon, and the sweet spicy touch of the date, we obtain a juicy, tasty and aromatic farce to give the quail that more festive air that we expect at a Christmas table.

Preheat the oven to 200ºC and prepare an ovenproof dish. Go over the quail to check that they are well cleaned and paint them a little on the outside with butter. Peel the apple and chop very finely along with the bacon and pitted dates; mix with the onion, some Provencal herbs and a little salt and pepper.

Fill the quail with the mixture, carefully but pressing well. To prevent the filling from coming out, they can be closed by piercing the hole with a toothpick. Tie the legs with kitchen string and arrange in the pan previously greased with butter. Season them with salt and pepper, garnish with herbs and sprinkle with a little Sherry. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, watering them halfway through cooking with the juices or more Jerez.

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Meanwhile, melt the butter over low heat in a saucepan or frying pan and softly confit peeled shallots about 10 minutes. Add the grapes cut in half, season and mix carefully, letting them cook without toasting.

Once the cordils are ready, remove the birds and leave them in the oven off to keep them warm. Deglaze the fountain with a jet of Jerez; pour the content over the shallots and grapes and cook while raising the heat to evaporate the alcohol. Lower the temperature so that it reduces. Serve one quail per person (or two, see previous notes) and spread the sauce with fresh pomegranate grains.

With what to accompany the quail

The filling and sauce of this baked quail dish already forms a very complete picture, but we can bring it to the table a couple more garnishes; some green vegetables, like steamed broccoli al dente or roast and a grain like brown rice or couscous will be great options. And the sauce will ask for good bread, although we already know that on party menus it is not advisable to go past herding, that you have to leave room for dessert. It’s not a bad idea to take advantage of the pomegranate to serve something fresh like a caramelised mango with spiced rum.

More Christmas recipes

Directly to the Palate we love these parties and we have thousands of recipes for you to be sure to hit your Christmas meals.

Don’t miss our special with the 215 best Christmas recipes and 16 special menus. And if you need ideas for specific dishes, here is a good starting point:

Directly to the Paladar | The 215 best Christmas recipes and 16 special menus to get it right for sure
Directly to the Paladar | The 77 meat recipes for this Christmas