Italian Risotto con Quaglie (Quail Risotto)
This quail dish is typical of the Romagna region of Italy.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 2whole quail, cleaned
- 2leaves fresh sage
- 4thin slices pancetta
- 2tablespoons butter, divided, or as needed
- 2tablespoons brandy
- 1cup beef stock, divided
- ½cup dry white wine, divided
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1onion, finely chopped
- 1cup Arborio rice
- 4tablespoons grated Parmigiano cheese, divided
Step 1Season the insides of the quail with salt and pepper and insert a sage leaf into each. Wrap each with pancetta slices, fastening with toothpicks.
Step 2Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Brown quail, moistening with brandy, 1/2 of the beef stock, and 1/2 of the wine, until most of the wine has evaporated, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer mixture to a baking dish.
Step 3Roast in the preheated oven until quail are no longer pink in the centers and juices run clear, about 12 minutes, moistening with juices as needed.
Step 4Remove baking dish from the oven and transfer juices to the saucepan; add quail. Cover and cook over low heat, turning frequently, for another 6 minutes.
Step 5Meanwhile, heat 1/2 tablespoon butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until the onion begins to turn golden brown at the edges, about 2 minutes. Pour in rice and stir until coated in butter and starting to toast, 2 to 3 minutes.
Step 6Reduce heat to medium and stir in remaining wine. Let wine simmer until it has mostly evaporated, then stir in 1/3 of the remaining broth; continue stirring until the rice has absorbed the liquid and turned creamy. Repeat this process twice more, stirring risotto constantly, 15 to 20 minutes.
Step 7Stir remaining butter and 1/2 of the Parmigiano cheese into the risotto.
Step 8Serve each quail on a bed of risotto. Drizzle edges of risotto with pan juices and sprinkle remaining Parmigiano cheese on each quail. Serve hot.