March 14, 2017

Mimi Thorisson’s Quail Stuffed With Foie Gras

Recipe: Mimi Thorisson

mimi-thorisson-coverTry this recipe for Quail Stuffed With Foie Gras from French food blogger Mimi Thorisson’s cookbook, French Country Cooking: Meals And Moments From A Village In The Vineyards.

To many people, cooking quail or squab sounds difficult, fancy, and somehow out of reach. The truth is: It’s actually quite simple. When I throw a fairly large dinner party I find it easier to cook one or two birds per person than roast two or three larger birds and then have to carve and plate them. Most of the work can be done in advance, and the only thing that remains last minute is to make a pan sauce. Often my guests follow me to the kitchen as I am finishing up. The highlight comes when I flambé the sauce—which often results in clapping. All very eighties, in a good way.


  • 4 quails, cleaned
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 4 small sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 oz foie gras, cut into 4 cubes
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup calvados
  • 3 tbsp crème fraîche


Yield: Serves 4

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Rinse the quails and pat dry. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Add a clove of garlic, a sprig of thyme, and a cube of foie gras to each cavity. Rub the quails all over with the butter. With kitchen twine, tie each quail around the circumference, turn it over, and tie the twine around the circumference again.
  3. Put the quails in a large roasting pan, transfer to the oven, and roast until golden brown and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the quails from the pan and keep warm on a plate.
  4. Keep all the juices in the roasting pan and set on the stove over medium-high heat. Pour in the chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Pour in the Calvados, light a match, and carefully ignite the liquid to flambé. Once the flame has died, whisk in the crème fraîche. Remove from the heat and pour the sauce into a sauce pitcher. Serve immediately with the quails.

Photography copyright © Oddur Thorisson.


Excerpted from French Country Cooking: Meals and Moments from a Village in the Vineyards by Mimi Thorisson. Copyright © 2016 Marie-France Thorisson. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.