A delicious warm quail salad from MasterChef.


  • quail:
  • 1 quail
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 tsp groundnut oil
  • additional butter for foil
  • salad:
  • a handful of mixed seasonal salad leaves (rinsed and ready to eat)
  • dressing:
  • ½ tbsp walnut oil
  • 1 tblsp groundnut oil
  • 2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 tblsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1tbsp lamb demi-glace
  • scotch eggs:
  • 1 quail egg
  • 50 g pork forcemeat or sausage meat
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 medium egg (beaten)
  • 1 heaped tbsp. plain flour
  • 2 heaped tbsp. panko breadcrumbs
  • 500 ml sunflower oil


  • Boil a kettle of water. Pre-heat the oven to 230°C. Put a small saucepan on the hob and pour in boiling water. Adjust temperature so water is just simmering. Gently lower the egg into simmering water. Set timer for 3 minutes. Whilst waiting for the egg to boil prepare a bowl of ice cold water.
  • Put balsamic vinegar into another small saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  • Combine the white wine vinegar with the walnut oil and the groundnut oil in a glass jar, put on the lid, shake and set aside.
  • Remove the egg from the boiling water, plunge immediately into ice water and leave to cool. Check on the balsamic vinegar and when it has reduced by half, it should be thick and sticky; remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  • Put the flour, breadcrumbs and beaten egg in 3 separate small bowls. Remove egg from the water, shell and dry with kitchen roll.
  • Heat the sunflower oil in a deep saucepan. Put sausage meat in large mixing bowl, add a pinch of cayenne pepper and mix by hand. Flatten out the sausage meat and then wrap around the boiled quail egg, making sure to seal the sausage meat. Roll the egg in flour, then beaten egg, then breadcrumbs and transfer to fridge to chill.
  • Heat the butter and groundnut oil in an oven proof frying pan. Season the quail with salt and pepper and using the tongs to hold the bird, brown on all sides for 1-2 minutes. Transfer pan to oven and set timer for 9 minutes.
  • Remove the egg from the fridge and roll in the flour, egg and breadcrumbs again. When the temperature of the sunflower oil reaches 180°C, gently lower the egg into the pan and deep fry for 3 minutes.
  • Whilst waiting for scotch egg to cook, lightly smear butter over a sheet of tin foil big enough to cover the quail. . Remove egg and rest on kitchen roll.
  • After 9 minutes remove the quail from the oven, transfer to chopping board and cover with lightly buttered foil and rest. Line a small baking tray with tin foil, place the scotch egg on it and cook in the hot oven for 3 minutes.
  • Dress the salad leaves with the vinaigrette. Pour quail juices from the chopping board back into the frying pan along with the demi-glace. Return the frying pan with the quail juices to the hob and reduce before transferring to a large bowl to cook quickly.
  • Using a carving knife, remove the quail breasts and the legs, then shred any remaining meat off the bone. Place a food ring in one corner of the plate and fill with dressed salad leaves before lifting off. Dot the balsamic reduction and the quail juices around the plate. Place the two quail legs in the opposite corner from the salad, the two breasts in another corner and the shredded meat and scotch egg, cut in half, in the last corner of the plate.

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