It is the Canberra and Capital Region Truffle Festival again. YAY! It turns out that Canberra’s frosty winters are well suited to growing French Black Truffles. The festival has been running for several years now to celebrate the fruits of local truffieres. I think it’s wonderfully exciting. There are degustation evenings at restaurants around town, truffle cooking workshops, even my favourite icecream maker, Mr Frugii, is in on the action! He’s made an incredible truffle ice cream.
I thought this dish would make a fine addition to the festivities: quail and truffles, what could go wrong? Cooking with truffles doesn’t need to be scary. With such a hefty price tag, of course one will be careful with them, but they beautifully lift the flavour of a dish so I think a simple dish like this roasted quail is perfect.
|salt and pepper|
Preheat the oven to 240oC.
Remove the quail from the fridge. Gently separate the skin above the breast from the meat. Use your fingers to poke in there and make a cavity. Slide a sliver of truffle in the cavity and replace the skin, making an effort to push out any air that would have come in.
Pat the outside of the birds dry with a paper towel.
Fill the cavity of the birds with fresh thyme. Tie the legs of the birds together with kitchen string. Brush the outside of the birds with melted butter and sprinkle with salt.
Arrange the birds on a baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes. Remove them from the oven, cover with foil and let them rest in a warm place for 5-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the brandy in a small saucepan and set it alight to burn off any alcohol.
Arrange the quails on serving plates, pour over the warm brandy and top with a nob of truffle butter.