The braised grape and pearl onion sauce can be used on other poultry, as well as pork. Recipe can be easily increased as needed.
Barley Risotto - start first
4 servings, can he halved
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 leek, cleaned and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 oz pearled barley, soaked in water overnight if necessary and drained
1/3 cup white wine
32 oz unsalted chicken stock (I used most of it)
3 Tbsp butter
1/8 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, finely grated
Salt and pepper to taste
NOTE: Some pearled barley needs to be soaked for several hours, some doesn't. Follow directions on the package regarding soaking.
Place a large pan over a low heat and add 2 Tbsp of butter. Once foaming, add the leek and gently cook until soft, do not brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the pearl barley, stir to coat with butter, then add white wine and allow the wine to reduce by three-quarters. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, as well as enough chicken stock to cover and stir well, letting the pearl barley absorb the stock before adding more. Keep adding chicken stock a little at the time until pearl barley is tender, about 30-40 minutes. As you taste for tenderness, adjust seasoning to your liking. Once done, add 3 Tbsp butter and the Parm R cheese, stir gently untli butter is melted.
Barley risotto should be like regular risotto, a bit liquidy and creamy.
Grape and pearl onion sauce
10 unpeeled pearl onions, any color
20 red or black seedless grapes
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1-1/2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper to taste
Using a small saucepan, boil pearl onions for 2-3 minutes, then place in an ice water bath to cool while you start the barley risotto. Cut off the root ends (I also trim the stem end if long) and peel. Place the pearl onions back in the same saucepan and add the brown sugar, vinegar, water and some salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the grapes and simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Stir/swirl frequently, adding a little more water as necessary to prevent burning. You should have a syrupy mixture once done.
2 quail, cleaned
Butcher's twine to truss
Rub for quail
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne, can increase to 1/2 tsp if you like it spicy
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
Fennel pollen, optional
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Mix rub ingredients together. Mix about half of rub mixture with butter. Gently loosen the neck skin of the quail, then use your finger to gently loosen the breast and thigh skin, being careful not to tear the skin. Using a smallish piping tip, pipe butter mixture underneath skin. Alternatively, use your finger to push butter mixture in. Lightly coat skin of quail with remaining butter mixture, then sprinkle on remaining rub mixture. Truss quail. Place into oven breast side down, cook 7 minutes. Turn quail over so breast side is up and cook for another 8-10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 160 F. Let rest for 5-10 minutes. Remove string. Plate and sprinkle with fennel pollen if desired.