Stuffed Quail Bottolfs

Prep Time: 1-1/2 Hours
Yields: 6 Servings

In 1999, I published the first edition of Hot Beignets and Warm Boudoirs. The recipes in it came from bed and breakfasts across Louisiana. Of course, I uncovered many great recipes, but of my favorite dishes came from the old Bottolfs Manor in Hammond. I fully expect you to enjoy it as well.

12 boneless quail, cleaned
3 cups cooked Uncle Ben’s® Rice
salt and black pepper to taste
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 pound fresh Italian sausage, crumbled
1 cup minced onions
1/2 cup minced celery
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1/4 cup minced yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup minced garlic
3 sage leaves, minced
3 cups chicken stock, divided
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup sliced green onions
2 cups dry red wine, divided
1/8 pound butter
4 cups French bread, cut into ½-inch cubes, optional

Preheat oven to 400°F. Season quail inside and out using salt and pepper then set aside. In a cast-iron skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat and brown sausage, breaking apart with a spoon. When sausage is browned, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of oil. Add onions, celery, bell peppers, and garlic to the skillet and sauté 3–5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add sage and 2 cups stock to skillet and stir. Bring mixture to a rolling boil then reduce to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from heat. In a large mixing bowl, add rice, parsley and green onions. Pour contents of skillet over rice and lightly stir until the rice soaks up liquid. Cool rice completely then stuff into quail cavities. Place quail, breast-side up, in a roasting pan and top with 1 cup red wine and remaining chicken stock. Bake in the oven until quail are golden brown, approximately 20 minutes, basting occasionally. Remove pan from oven, transfer quail to a serving platter and keep warm. Place roasting pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat and deglaze drippings with remaining red wine. Reduce liquid to 1 cup. Using a wire whisk, stir in butter until well blended. Using a fine sieve, strain liquid into a sauceboat. Serve 2 quail on each plate and drizzle with sauce. You may also wish to serve the quail on top of 2 French bread croutons before drizzling with sauce.