Roasted Quail with Bourbon-Bacon Stuffing

This Roasted Quail with Bourbon-Bacon Stuffing is just one of many mouth-watering recipes included in Chef Tory McPhail's new Commander's Wild Side cookbook. Pick up a signed copy from Chef Tory himself at the market this Tuesday, then see Joe Dobie for the quail, Justin Pitts for the bacon and Mr. Mizell for the fresh herbs, and you're almost there!

Commander's Wild Side

Bourbon-Bacon Stuffing
3 ounces lean pork such as tenderloin, roughly chopped
2 ½ ounces boneless quail meat, roughly chopped
2 slices bacon, roughly chopped
½ tablespoon bourbon
½ tablespoon ruby Port
½ teaspoon each fresh thyme and sage, chopped
Pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup pecans, chopped

Four 5 to 6-ounces semi-boned quail (see note page 000)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Prepare bourbon-bacon stuffing: Combine the pork, quail, bacon, liquors, herbs, and salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Stuffing can be made up to this point 1 day ahead, covered, and chilled.    Pass the stuffing twice through the smallest die of a meat grinder, keeping the ingredients as cold as possible. (Alternately, pulse the stuffing ingredients in a food processor until nearly smooth.)  Transfer the stuffing to a clean bowl and fold in pecans.
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
Divide the stuffing into four equal portions, forming each into a ball, and transfer to a work surface.
Season both sides of quail with salt and pepper and drape quail over stuffing, wrapping it around stuffing to resemble a whole quail. Transfer quail to a baking sheet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer registers 140° F. Remove quail from the oven and let rest in a warm area for 10 minutes.

Courtesy of Commander's Palace, from the new Commander's Wild Side cookbook

Serves 4

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