A Bird Hunter’s Table, is about cooking, eating, and sharing friendship.
It is also about gundogs, gamebirds, and getting outside to enjoy the land. A Bird Hunter’s Table includes over 130 recipes, collectively assembled by friends and family. In addition, the book includes practical tips, stories from the field and a smattering of natural history.
To learn more, view a book sample, or order visit www.birdhunterstable.com
Recipe Sneak Peak
Grilled Quail with Pancetta, White Beans, and Sage
8 quail (1-2 per person)
8 ounces pancetta cut into 1 inch cubes
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½-¾ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
1 red onion, ¼ inch dice
8-10 fresh sage leaves, chopped or minced
2 15-ounce cans (or about 2 cups) white beans, rinsed and drained
Splash of white wine
Combine the pancetta, vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil, honey and pepper in a large bowl. Add the quail and marinate. You can leave the birds in the marinade for several hours or just while you are preparing the rest of the recipe. Preheat your grill.
In a sauté pan, heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the sage leaves, and beans and cook until fragrant. You may need to add a bit more olive oil and I add a splash of white wine. Season with salt and set aside, but keep warm. Remove the quail from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels. Also remove the pancetta and drain in on paper towels. Toss out the rest of the marinade. Put the pancetta in a non-stick pan and cook turning occasionally until golden brown. Set aside.
When the grill is ready, place the quail on the grill, breast side down, and cook for a couple of minutes (3-4 on the first side) and 2 minutes on the other, keeping the bird medium-rare. I butterflied my birds so that the breasts will lie flat. Reheat the beans if necessary and arrange in the center of the plate. Place the quail on top of the beans, arrange the pancetta around the beans and quail, and drizzle with a teaspoon of remaining olive oil.
Note: The white beans are a traditional sort of Italian dish that typically includes pork shoulder. With the crispy pancetta in this recipe I think it is overkill, but if you make the white beans as a side dish another time, you may want to add bacon, pancetta or pork shoulder. If you do not care for white beans, try risotto or rice with sage (with or without the bacon or sausage). It is also delicious over polenta.