Stuffed Honey-Roast Quail, Celeriac Mash & Puy Lentils

A flavoursome main course.


  • 300 g puy lentils
  • 8 floury potatoes
  • 50 g pancetta
  • a small celeriac chopped into chunks
  • 2 tblsp chopped rosemary
  • a small onion (finely chopped)
  • large knob of butter
  • 1 carrot diced
  • milk
  • 1 rib celery (diced)
  • salt pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely diced)
  • 900 ml chicken stock
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper
  • honey
  • oven ready quail (2 per person)
  • butter
  • fresh breadcrumbs
  • a handful of blond raisins (soaked in warm water)
  • 2 tblsp sage (finely chopped)
  • salt flakes


  1. Heat some olive oil in a pot to which you have a lid, cast iron if you have one.
  2. Add the carrot, celery and onion and soften without colouring.
  3. Add the pancetta, rosemary and garlic and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add the lentils and cook for a few more minutes.
  5. Cover the lentils well with the stock, bring to the boil, cover with the lid and place in a preheated oven at 160°C for about an hour.
  6. When the lentils are nice and tender, add a good splash of extra virgin olive oil and a tablespoon of red wine vinegar. Season well.
  7. While all the lentils are braising in the oven prepare the mash.
  8. Peel and steam the spuds, and boil the chunks of celeriac. This should take about 20 minutes.
  9. When all are cooked, heat up a splash of milk and the butter in a pan.
  10. Add the spuds and celeriac a few pieces at a time and mash well. Keep on adding until you have reached the desired consistency. Season and keep warm.
  11. Prepare the stuffing by softening the onion in some butter, adding the sage, raisins and breadcrumbs and cook until you have a nice moist stuffing.
  12. Place a good amount of stuffing in the cavity of the birds, and truss up with a cocktail stick. Gently heat the honey and mix in some butter so that it becomes runny and easy to spread.
  13. Give each bird a good coating of honey and sprinkle the salt flakes on the crowns. Roast in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 12 minutes.
  14. Arrange the mash off-centre on 4 plates, spooning some lentils around the inside of the plate. Place 2 quail over the lentils, leaning on the side of the mash. Serve with finger bowls.


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