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Cognac And Bacon Braised Quail With Crostini

  • Yield: 4 servings


  • 8 boneless quail
  • 2 tablespoons Essence
  • 4 strips bacon, diced
  • 2 cups julienned onions
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • 1/2 cup Cognac
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 4 cups reduced dark chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Olive oil
  • 1 loaf french bread, sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices


  • Season the quail on both sides with the Essence.
  • In a large, deep saute pan, cook the bacon over medium heat until brown and the fat is rendered, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the quail, breast side down, to the fat in the pan. Sear for 2 minutes on each side. Add the onions and cook, stirring, until slightly caramelized, 7 to 8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and thyme and cook for 30 seconds. Remove the quail and drain on paper towels. Carefully add the Cognac, and stir to deglaze and remove any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. When the Cognac has almost evaporated, add the red wine, chicken stock, thyme, salt, and pepper, and bring to a boil.
  • In a small bowl, make a beurre manie by combining the butter and flour and mashing with a fork until well combined. Set aside. Add the flour beurre manie, whisking to combine. Return the quail to the pan and reduce the heat to a bare simmer. Cover with the lid ajar and cook for 10 minutes. Return the bacon to the pan and stir. Remove from the heat and adjust seasoning, to taste. Cover to keep warm until ready to serve. Preheat a grill.
  • Using a pastry brush, spread the oil over 1 side of the sliced bread. Place on the grill and cook until marked and slightly golden on both sides, about 2 minutes.
  • Place 2 crostini on each of 4 plates and arrange 1 quail on each. Spoon the sauce over the quail and serve.