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Roast Quails with Lentils & Watercress


Roasted Quail are very easy to prepare and make a gorgeous presentation. These roasted quail are presented on a bed of lentils and watercress punched up with mustard.

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Rate this recipe 4.3/5 (3 Votes)


  • 4 semi-boneless quails
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 6 shallots, quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, plus 1/2 head
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 3 tablespoons white wine
  • 3 tablespoons chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups Puy lentils
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cups watercress, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard


Servings 4
Preparation time 15mins
Cooking time 60mins


Step 1

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Rub quails with salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons olive oil and cut side of a lemon half. Place quails, shallots, garlic cloves and thyme in a medium roasting pan, fitting them in a single, snug layer. Pour in wine and chicken stock. Roast until shallots are fork-tender and quail legs easily pull away from bodies when pulled, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, place lentils in a small pot and add just enough water to cover. Add ½ garlic head, bay leaves and remaining lemon half. Bring lentils to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.

Strain lentils, reserving ¼ cup cooking liquid. Discard garlic head, bay leaves and lemon. Return lentils to pot and set over medium heat. Stir in reserved cooking liquid and watercress. Cook until greens just wilt and most liquid cooks off, about 2 minutes. Add remaining oil and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let rest at least 5 minutes.

To serve, divide lentils among 4 plates and place one quail on each. Serve roasted shallots and garlic alongside and drizzle pan drippings over birds.

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