grilled quail, red cabbage with chestnuts

dinner, 12/5/10

We both agreed that this simple entree was the best quail either of us had ever had, and the red cabbage/chestnut braise was an inspired accompaniment, even if the nuts were actually a serendipitous greenmarket find and the crucifer a refrigerator survivor, what remained of a head after some of it had been used in an earlier meal.

  • mixed olives from Eataly, with grissini (Roberto)
  • partially-boned Georgia quail from O. Ottomanelli & Sons Prime Meat Market on Bleecker Street, salted, sprinkled with crushed chilies, pan-grilled with sprigs of fresh thyme, finished with oil and lemon;  accompanied by red cabbage from an unrecorded Greenmarket purveyor, wilted with duck fat and cooked with a sweet white wine, then combined with “pullet” (the adjective my invention for the smallish fruit of a young tree) chestnuts from Red Jacket Orchards, also at the Greenmarket, which had been cooked briefly in bit more duck fat and then softened some in a a rich chicken stock, the two braised ingredients cooked together until the cabbage was very soft, and finished with a bit of cognac
  • wine:  California, David Bruce Pinot Noir 2002 Santa Cruz Mountains, the generous gift of a friend
  • black cherry goat’s milk ice cream from Patches of Star Dairy

The red cabbage and chestnut recipe is from Alice Waters’ “Chez Panisse Vegetables“, and that for the quail from “Italian Two Easy“.