MC TX11 - Masterclass: Roast quail, shallot puree, grapes, celery and sour dough

Chef Daniel Clifford showed the MasterChef contestants how to make his delicious dish in the series' first Masterclass


  • 1 x extra large quail
  • 1 x loaf of white sour dough (cob)
  • 300 g chippers choice potatoes
  • 6 quail eggs
  • 100 g pickled onions
  • 50 g walnuts (finely chopped) with milk
  • 200 g purple seedless grapes
  • 1 head of celery
  • 1 stalk celery, finely sliced
  • 200 g shallot puree:
  • for the shallot purée -
  • 500g/1lb 2oz banana shallots finely sliced
  • 0.50 butter
  • sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200 g raisin puree:
  • for the raisin purées -
  • 0.50 raisins
  • 0.50 oz white wine vinegar
  • 200 g chicken liver parfait:
  • reduction -
  • 500 g/1lb 2oz chicken livers
  • 500 g/1lb 2oz butter – room temperature
  • 2 free-range egg, plus2 egg yolk
  • quail:
  • 2 litres/3½ pints chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • knob of butter


  1. Potato Strings;
  2. Peel potato and place firmly on the mandolin. Using your thumb to keep the pressure on, turn the handle to wind the potato through the blade.
  3. Drain the starch off the potatoes using kitchen paper and put aside until you are ready to wrap your quails egg.
  4. For the raisin purée;
  5. Put approximately 150ml/ 200ml water and 100ml white wine vinegar into a pan and bring to the boil. Season and add raisins to the liquid and allow to simmer.
  6. Drain the mixture, holding onto the juices.
  7. Transfer the mixture to a blender, and blend until smooth. Add juices in if necessary.
  8. Pass the blended raisin purée through a fine sieve using a ladle to push through the mixture into a bowl. Season.
  9. Transfer the mixture into a squeezy bottle and set aside until plating up.
  10. For the chicken liver parfait;
  11. Weigh out 500g of Chicken Livers, drain out the blood. Season with salt and black pepper. Use Pink Salt to retain colour, and set aside to come to room temperature.
  12. Crack two whole eggs + 1 egg yolk into a glass bowl with the chicken livers.
  13. Weigh out 500g of room temperature butter. Set aside to bring to room temperature. ***DANIEL – CHANGED TO 700 LAST MINUTE***
  14. Place the chicken liver mixture + your pre-made reduction into a thermomix, set to 50, bring the liver to temperature. When it stops flashing, goes green, taste and season if needed. Slowly add the butter into the mixture, careful that it doesn’t split.
  15. Once the mixture is blended and smooth remove from thermomix.
  16. Pass the parfait through a fine sieve, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and transfer into a piping bag. Set into the fridge/ freezer on ice and keep in the fridge until needed.
  17. Quail eggs;
  18. Boil a saucepan of water.
  19. Add the quail eggs for 2 minutes, (use timer) bringing the hob down to heat level 8. Remove the eggs after 2 minutes and place into ice cold water.
  20. *Note – add white wine vinegar to the iced water to help with shell removal*
  21. Peel the shell from the eggs ensuring you do not damage the eggs. Set the eggs aside until you are ready to wrap them with potato strings.
  22. For the shallot purée;
  23. Take your peeled and finely chop approximately 500g of shallots.
  24. Heat some oil in a heavy-based pan and add the shallots. Cook for approximately 10mins, stirring constantly until softened and seasoning as you go. Sweat them adding butter as you need. Shallots should have a nice colour but not be burnt.
  25. Transfer the shallots to a blender and blend until smooth.
  26. Transfer into a bowl, whisk, taste and season with salt and lemon juice.
  27. Pass the purée through a fine sieve.
  28. Taste. *Use lemon juice to finish*
  29. Cover with cling film and set aside until plating up.
  30. For the Quail;
  31. Prepare the quail by removing the wishbone, legs, lungs and liver.
  32. Delicately using your hands, “pop” the leg bones off similar to the process you would use with a chicken. Using your thumb to manoeuvre under the skin remove the wishbone, pulling the skin back down to cover over the neck. Remove the liver and lungs and trim.
  33. Place chicken stock into a large saucepan and bring to a simmer at heat level 8.
  34. Place the quail into the simmering stock, reduce the heat to level 7 and poach for just three minutes.
  35. Once poached, remove the quail from the pan. Season with salt while it’s still moist.
  36. Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a knob of butter. Gently fry the quail in the butter continuously turning until golden-brown all over. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest. *Note – Use the pan juices reaming, and pour over the breast as it rests.*
  37. For the Sourdough Croutons;
  38. First cut some sour dough into a finger crouton to approx. 2.5cm wide by 8cm long by 1.5cm deep. And then secondly cut several thinner slices into small dice/cubes (2mm) of sour dough.
  39. Heat a medium frying pan and add oil first to sauté the finger croutons at a heat level of 7/8. Once hot- colour the finger croutons in the pan adding butter to finish them off, until golden brown on all edges.
  40. Remove and allow to cool. Pour out the fat from pan.
  41. Using the same pan add some butter and melt. Place the cube croutons and colour quickly. Remove and allow to cool individually spaced on kitchen towel.
  42. For the skinned walnuts;
  43. Place some milk in a saucepan and boil. Add walnuts. Once boiled, remove walnuts and peel the skin off. Chop finely and put aside until plating up.
  44. For the deep fried egg;
  45. Take your peeled quails egg and wrap with the potato strings until the entire egg is covered. Drop into the deep fat fryer at 180 for a few minutes until crispy and golden brown. Remove and set aside for plating up.
  46. Garnishes;
  47. Wash the grapes and very finely slice and put to one side.
  48. Finely slice your pickled onion.
  49. Peel celery and finely slice.
  50. Reserve celery leaves and finely slice too.
  51. In a hot pan sauté the celery, grapes and celery leaves for 30 seconds in a small bit of oil. Season with salt then place to one side to build on the top on the quail breast.
  52. Plating up;
  53. When you are ready to serve, take your rested quail and carve the quail breast from the bone. Season the underside of the quail breast with salt. Trim off the wings.
  54. Crouton: Begin to assemble your plate by taking a finger crouton and piping 3 even dots of parfait along the top, using both ends of the finger. In between these three piped dots, squeeze two dots of your raisin purée. Break down your confit leg meat and carefully arrange shreds of meat on top of the parfait and raisin purée.
  55. Using your sliced grapes, arrange on top of the meat to resemble scales on a fish.
  56. Next add slices of pickled onion, your sliced celery. Lastly sprinkle chopped walnuts and celery leaves on top. Place on the rim of the deep plate.
  57. Taking your shallot purée form a quenelle shape and place on the plate. Add an additional small dollop of the purée for your egg to sit on.
  58. Place 5 of your diced croutons in a line along the top of the quenelle.
  59. Place the quail breast on the plate next to the shallot purée and top with the remaining grapes and celery slices.
  60. Place your deep fried quails egg and sit on top of the small purée dollop.
  61. Before serving your dish you must smoke the finished plate.
  62. Finely chop some hay. Adding your glass cloche to the plate, place the smoking gun pipe under the edge of the glass. Add your chopped hay to the gun and smoke.
  63. Serve.

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