Simple and refreshing, with the light twist of citrus.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
Juice of 1/2 orange
4 short cinnamon sticks (or 2 long ones, halved)
2 tsp sesame seeds
Small handful of basil leaves, roughly torn
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the quail on a board. Butterfly each quail by cutting down one side of the backbone. Open the bird out and use the heel of your hand to press down on the breast to flatten it. Do the same with the other 3 birds. Put in a large shallow dish.
Mix together 1 tablespoon of the oil with the honey, cinnamon, pomegranate molasses and orange juice, and season well. brush all over the quail and add the cinnamon sticks. Cover, chill and marinate for 1 hour.
Take the quail out of the fridge about half an hour before cooking, to take the chill off them.
Heat a large, heavy based frying pan until hot and add the remaining oil. Place the quail in the pan, skin-side down, and cook over a medium heat for 8-10 minutes. Turn over and cook on the other side for a few more minutes. Add the sesame seeds and basil to the pan and stir to coat in the juices.
To see if the quail is cooked, use a skewer or knife to pierce the thickest part of the thigh and check that the juices run clear.
From 'Comptoir Libanais' by Tony Kitous and Dan Lepard. Copyright Tony Kitous and Dan Lepard 2013. Images copyright of Dan Lepard.
Reprinted by permission of Random House Australia.
All rights reserved. RP $40.95 by Preface. Available now from bookstores.
Photo Credits: Dan Lepard