Thursday, 3 September 2009

Quail in Sauternes

Before the First World War it was traditional to accompany roasts and other banquet dishes with Sauternes - the rage for dry whites dates from the 1920's. Nowadays people generally think of Sauternes as a dessert wine only but it actually goes well with a number of dishes - Quail stuffed with foie-gras in Sauternes jelly is quite delicious. If you are looking for a super Sauternes at a fantastic price check out Sainte Helene (£15.16) – it's the second wine of the first growth Chateau de Malle. I have found an easier recipe for you to try:

Quail in Sauternes

4 quail
¾ cup of butter, melted
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp flour
1 can condensed chicken broth
¾ cup of water
½ cup of Sauternes
pinch of cayenne

Split each Quail down centre breast and open flat. Brush lightly with some of the melted butter. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides. Fry the Quail for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. Pour the remaining butter into a pan. Stir in the flour, then gradually stir in the chicken broth, water and Sauternes. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Add the cayenne and the Quail. Simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until Quail are tender.

There are a couple of choices as far as wine goes to pair with this recipe. Montagnac Chardonnay (£5.37) is a good unoaked one – it's pale gold in colour and has aromas of summer flowers, apples and vanilla. In the mouth it is smooth and simple with good acidity and plenty of fruit flavours coming through, including apple, lemon and pear flavours with a nice little sherbet bite on the finish.

If you are looking for a sparkling wine then Adam Crémant d'Alsace Chardonnay Extra Brut (£12.49) is a great choice. This Crémant d'Alsace comes from the House of Jean-Baptiste Adam, founded in 1614, in the Alsace village of Ammerschwihr. No less than 14 generations of winemakers have contributed to the tradition and exceptional skills of the Adam estate. There are few families that can take advantage of 4 centuries of passion for wine. It is a delicate and dazzling wine with a fine mousse of creamy bubbles. It has notes of melon, lemon, ripe pear and toast and is crisp and effervescent. It is a medium weighted sparkling wine with a dry, robust finish and although excellent as an aperitif or as a party drink it accompanies rich dishes such as duck, venison and beef as well as mackerel, smoked salmon and sturgeon.

Should Champagne be your choice then Philippe Seconde's Grande Reserve Brut (£16.13) is a lovely champagne. It is golden in colour with fine, lively bubbles and it has the smell of intense fruits. When in the mouth it attacks the taste buds with a good balance of those fruit and leaves a lovely lingering, full bodied, dry after taste. The Grande Reserve has flavours of apricot, honey, roasted hazel nuts and smoke and will pair beautifully with your Quail.

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