Quails With Grapes
When I was in Singapore, I used to cook a balanced amount of chicken, pork and seafood dishes. Beef and lamb, on the other hand, seldom appear on our dining table. We do love red meats but as age is cathing up with us, we try to avoid food with high cholestrol as much as possible.
Now that pork is not available in SA, and it's more troublesome to travel to the shopping street which I've mentioned before to get seafood, chicken has become a staple of our day to day meals. Hence, I've been trying hard to make my chicken dishes more appetising, be it baked, sauteed, deep fried or stewed, I've tried them all!
Just when I felt so bored with having chicken dishes everyday, I chanced upon quails. This gamey poultry is definitely not a regular item in the supermarkets, and I just knew that I have to grab a pack before they flew off the shelves. I found a quail dish recipe to try out only when I got home but it calls for grapes which I did not have on hand. Eager to have a taste of the quails, I made a quick trip to the minimart in the compound the next morning to get some grapes and then went home to prepare the dish right away.
While I have eaten pigeons in Hong Kong (and I like it a lot!), this was my first time having quails. I like it for its meaty flavour, and the chewy texture resembles beef more than chicken. The sweet grape sauce complements the quails quite nicely too.
If you can't get quails, you still can try out the recipe with pan-fried chicken pieces, well, just to have a Middle Eastern touch to an otherwise
Quails With Grapes Recipe
(Recipe from The New Book of Middle Eastern Food)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
5-6 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 inches ginger, grated to extract the juice
3 cloves garlic, crushed
500-600g seedless grapes, chopped roughly
1) Heat up 1 tablespoon of oil and butter in a large skillet.
2) Put in quails and sautee for about 8 minutes, or until they are browned all over. Add salt, pepper and ginger.
3) Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove from heat.
4) Heap up a saucepan with the remaining oil.
5) Put in grapes, sprinkle with some salt, and cook with lid on for about 20 minutes, or until the grapes turn soft, stirring occassionally.
6) Add the grape sauce into the skillet and cook the quails for another 10 minutes, or until the quails are done. Serve hot.