I’m really loving my quails at the moment. They look cute, taste great and are generally easy to prepare. Unless of course you’re deboning them. This dish uses both the quail and its eggs, but what makes it special is the layer of butter and Vegeta I put beneath the skin; as well as a buttery herb stuffing for some added flavours and texture. Can’t get Vegeta where you are? Then just go with a little vegetable or chicken seasoning mixed with a few dried herbs of choice.
Sweet potato goes nicely with this and thanks to the addition of sour cream and even more butter, it’s pretty decadent as well.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Using your fingertips, carefully separate the skin of the quails from the breast. Mash the 1½ tablespoons and Vegeta together and gently spread it on the quail breasts, beneath the skin.
Combine the thyme, rosemary, paprika, pine nuts and seasoning in a small bowl. Stuff this mixture into the cavity of each quail, then place the quails onto a roasting tray. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes as you prepare the rest of the dish.
Place the sweet potato into a saucepan and top with water. Bring to the boil and as soon as it boils carefully drop in the quail eggs and let them cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the eggs and cool under running water as the potato continues to boil. When the potato is done, drain and mash well. Stir in the sour cream, 2 tablespoons of butter, milk and seasoning. Set aside in a warm place.
By this stage the quails should be done. Remove them from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes as you steam the asparagus and peel the eggs.
To serve, spoon some of the sweet potato mash onto the plates, top with a quail and some of the juices. Garnish with the asparagus, halved quail eggs and some herbs.