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Pan roasted California quail

Are you looking for a very special meal? Here is a delicate quail dish -- California cuisine at its finest.

Pan Roasted California Quail

Ingredients:
4 Whole quail, quartered and partially de-boned As needed -- fine sea salt
As needed -- black pepper, freshly ground
2 Teaspoons canola oil
2 Tablespoons applewood smoked bacon, minced
2 Cups carrot puree
2 Cups watercress salad
4 Tablespoons strawberry chutney

Directions for quail:
Season the quail and reserve. Heat canola oil in a large saut� pan over medium heat; add bacon; saut� until barely crisp. Add the quail and cook on both sides until golden -- about three minutes each. Transfer quail and bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain off excess oil. Reserve quail and bacon, keeping hot.

Carrot Puree
Ingredients:
4 Cups carrots, peeled and rough diced
1/4 Cup Russet potatoes, peeled and rough diced
1 Medium shallot, peeled and quartered
1 Medium garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
1 1/2 Quarts water
2 Tablespoon unsalted butter
As needed -- salt
As needed -- white pepper, freshly ground

Directions of Carrot Puree:
Combine all ingredients except butter, salt and white pepper in large saucepan over medium heat; bring to boil; cook until vegetables are soft. Use a slotted spoon to remove carrots and potatoes from the pan and transfer them to a food processor; puree. Pulse in the butter -- do not overwork -- butter will break. Season. Transfer to Bain Marie; reserve keeping hot.

Baby Watercress Salad:
Ingredients:
1 Cup fresh baby watercress, loosely packed
1 Teaspoon sherry vinegar
1 Teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
As needed -- salt
As needed -- black pepper, freshly ground

Direction for Baby Watercress Salad:
Place watercress in large bowl. Add vinegar and oil; toss. Season and reserve.

Selva Strawberry Chutney:
Ingredients:
1/4 Cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 Teaspoon powdered ginger
1/8 Teaspoon cinnamon, ground
1/8 Teaspoon clove, ground
1/8 Teaspoon allspice, ground
2 Tablespoon granulated sugar
2 Tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 Teaspoon orange zest, finely grated
1/2 Cup juicy Selva strawberries
As needed -- salt
As needed -- black pepper, freshly ground

Directions for Selva Strawberry Chutney:
Combine all ingredients except strawberries, salt and pepper in a small non-reactive saucepan over low heat. Cook until reduced by 75 percent -- about 15 minutes. Remove chutney base from direct heat. Stir strawberries into base. Season. Cool to room temperature; reserve.

To serve: Spoon 1/2 cup of carrot puree in the center of a large serving plate; mound 1/2 cup of watercress next to and on puree; arrange quail around watercress; sprinkle bacon over quail and around; garnish plate with large dollop of chutney; drizzle chutney juice around plate; serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.

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