David O'Byrne's Quail & Carrots: Healthy Appetite


Serves 4
Red Wine Sauce:

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 3 whole gloves garlic
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 500 ml chicken stock


  • 4 x whole quail
  • 8 x slices of pancetta 

Potato & Carrot Rosti:

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled & grated
  • 3 large rooster potatoes, peeled & grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • Sprig of thyme
  • Salt & pepper

Carrot Purée:

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled & diced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • Juice of 2 fresh oranges
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Bunch of thyme

Baby Carrots & Chard:

  • 8 baby carrots
  • 8 chard leaves
  • 1 tbsp butter


  • 4 fried quails eggs


  1. First, make the red wine sauce. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, celery, carrot, garlic and thyme, cover with the lid and sweat on low heat until vegetables are soft.
  2. Add the red wine, bring to a simmer and scrape any sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until red wine is reduced by half.
  3. Strain the liquid through a muslin cloth, return liquid to saucepan, add 500 ml chicken stock and simmer until reduced to a thick sauce. 
  4. Remove the legs and breasts from the quail. Roll up each breast, wrap in cling film and tie the ends. Remove the bone from the legs and keep for garnish.
  5. Roll the leg meat in pancetta, 2 slices each. Wrap in tin foil and tie the ends. Gently simmer the legs in a pot of water for 45 minutes.
  6. Boil the breasts in water for 4 minutes, then remove from pot and place in ice water. 10 minutes before the legs are ready, pre-heat the oven to 190°C.
  7. Using a muslin cloth to clean tea towel, squeeze the excess water from the grated potatoes. Transfer to a bowl. Add the carrots, onion, the leaves of 1 sprig of thyme, some pepper and mix together.
  8. Add the baking powder, flour, egg and a pinch of salt and mix to combine. Shape into small patties. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan. Fry rostis until golden, 4 – 5 minutes each side. Transfer to a roasting tray and set aside. 
  9. In a saucepan combine the carrot, shallot, vegetable stock, orange juice and 1 tbsp olive oil.  Mince the garlic clove and add to the pot.
  10. Bring to boil and simmer until carrots are soft (7 – 10 minutes). Blitz carrots in a blender until smooth. Add a little water if necessary. Pass through a sieve into a saucepan, removing any lumps. 
  11. After 45 minutes, transfer legs to a bowl of ice water. Rest for 1 minute then remove tin foil. Remove breasts from cling film. Pat the meat dry with a tea towel if necessary.
  12. Heat 80 g butter in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Add a sprig of thyme. Baste the legs and breasts in the butter until seared, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the roasting tray and bake in the oven with the rosti for 4 – 6 minutes. 
  13. Peel 8 baby carrots. Add to 200ml boiling water with a pinch of salt. Simmer for 3 minutes and transfer to ice water. Trim the chard leaves and sauté in 1 tbsp butter in a hot saucepan for 3 – 4 minutes.
  14. Reheat the carrot purée on a low heat. 
  15. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan. Remove from the heat, gently crack the eggs and fry in the hot oil. Trim the fried eggs into rounds.
  16. Slice the breasts and legs into small rounds. Plate up 1 rosti and 1 leg and breast per plate, garnish with a fried egg and the leg bone.
  17. Add 2 tablespoons of carrot purée, some baby carrots and chard. Drizzle with red wine sauce.

Nutritional information:
Fat: 34 g
Fibre: 2 g