Boneless Quail stuffed with Poultry Quenelle, served with Sauteed Mushrooms

Boneless Quail stuffed with Poultry Quenelle, served with Sauteed Mushrooms

This sumptuous dish was crafted by Chef Jean-Louis Gerin, a nine-time James Beard Award Nominee whose restaurant in Greenwich, CT, Restaurant Jean-Louis, is consistently rated one of the best by Wine Spectator and numerous other food and wine publications. Though he intends to use this recipe in his upcoming cookbook, we demanded that he share it with us; such indulgences must not be tucked away! (Did we mention that he is one fabulous bon vivant?)

Serves 4 as a main course; 8 as an appetizer


1-lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, chilled
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1½ cups heavy cream, chilled
1 egg white, chilled
1 tablespoon chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
8 semi-boneless quail
4 tablespoons butter
4 cups mixed sliced mushrooms (such as crimini, oyster, shiitake, etc)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 cups unsalted or low-sodium chicken broth
Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh thyme
3 ounces foie gras terrine


Make the poultry mousse. Cut the chicken into small pieces, season well with salt and white pepper, and place in bowl of food processor fitted with a sharp blade. Process the chicken, scraping bowl down as necessary, until it is completely broken down into a homogenous paste, about 2 minutes. Add the egg white and blend to incorporate and loosen paste, about 30 seconds.  With processor blade running, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Process until all of the cream is incorporated, the grain of the mousse is very fine, and the mousse is solid enough that a scoop of it will not fall off of a rubber scraper held in the air, about 2 minutes.  Transfer to a bowl and fold in chives and 1 tablespoon of the parsley.

Preheat oven to 375° F. Stuff the body of each quail with some of the chicken mousse. Save remaining mousse for another use (make sure to cover it well with plastic wrap to lessen air exposure). Tie quail legs together with a piece of butcher’s twine.

Season quails with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Working in two batches so as not to overcrowd the pan, brown quail on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer quail to a baking sheet (do not clean skillet) and place in oven.  Cook until firm and done all the way through, 15-20 minutes.  Meanwhile, add mushrooms to skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until about three-quarters done, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, season with salt and white pepper, and finish cooking, about 3 minutes more. Mix in remaining tablespoon of chopped parsley, transfer to a bowl, and set aside. Add chicken broth and thyme leaves to skillet and boil until reduced by two-thirds, to about 1 cup in volume, about 15 minutes. Transfer reduced broth to a blender and add foie gras terrine and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Blend until smooth and frothy.


Remove butcher’s twine from quail and discard. Divide mushrooms and quail among warm plates. Spoon foie gras sauce over quail and mushrooms.

Copyright (c) 2005 Jean-Louis Gerin. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.