Saturday, July 28, 2012

SOB Dinner - Woodcock Incognito with Cumberland Sauce

"I dine at seven. There is a woodcock, I believe."

From the perennial Christmas story, The Blue Carbuncle.  Doesn't your family read it every year?  

Do you believe?
Okay, I tried.  I really tried.  Some time ago, I happened into the Butcher Shop Cafe in Kenmore.  I saw that they carried a variety of game birds, and they told me they could order most game birds that they didn't carry.  So, I tucked that fact into my little brain attic, thinking that it might be a good source for specialty meats and game.  Fast forward to one month ago.  I went into talk to them, to see if they could order woodcock.  Well, of course the owner wasn't there, but they took my name and phone number and told me they would call me, that if they could order it they could do it within about a week.  In the meantime, I found out they did carry quail in stock, and I knew it would make a good substitute.  But hope springs eternal, and I waited to hear about the woodcock.  I waited a week, no word.  I tried calling, there was no answer but I left a message.  Still no call.  So the following week I made a trip there.  Oh, they meant to call me, they just hadn't.  And they couldn't get woodcock, unless they ordered a case of them, and the price would be prohibitive.  So, I got the quail.  

I decided the quail was masquerading as woodcock in my recipe, and I'd just treat the quail the same way I would have treated the woodcock.  In retrospect, it should be Quail Incognito, but there is no reference to quail in the Canon.  So there you are.  

"How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?"

Woodcock (or Quail) with Cumberland Sauce

Aren't their little arms cute?

6 quail
6 slices good quality bacon
6 slices good quality bread, buttered and toasted (I used potato rosemary bread from the bakery)
2 cups port wine
1 cup beef demiglace (I used homemade)
1/4 cup currant jelly

My quail came frozen, so I thawed them in the refrigerator the day before.  They were partially boned, and came out of the package looking like a flattened cartoon character.  Almost too cute to eat!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a fry pan, fry bacon until it is limp.  Set aside.  In the same pan, brown the quail briefly.  Place quail in a greased roasting pan, and place a piece of the bacon across each breast.  Bake quail for eight minutes.  Remove the bacon, and continue cooking the quail for another ten minutes, or until done.

Cumberland Sauce

While quail is cooking, make a 'batch' of 'Cumber'land sauce.  Reduce port wine by half.  Add demiglace and reduce again.  After browning the quail in the fry pan, add a tablespoon or two of flour to the pan drippings and cook briefly.  Add port wine reduction and cook until thickened.  Add currant jelly.

To serve, place a piece of toast on plate and top with a quail.  Pour Cumberland Sauce over all and serve.

Wow, wow, wow! This was my favorite part of the meal!  The sauce is really incredible.  Even if you can't find quail, try it with some other kind of bird, like cornish game hens.  It's worth it, and not really difficult at all.

Oh, and then there was the wine!  Borsao Berola 2008.  


It was my favorite pairing of the evening.  Rich and full, well balanced, fruity, full of flavor.  The fusion of flavors in the wine and the quail was incredible!  Erik hit it out of the park with this one!

Tomorrow, a little bit of a rest as we cleanse our palate.

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