SMOKED QUAIL WITH WILD RICE PANCAKES
WATERCRESS AND CRANBERRY COMPOTE GARNISH
6 partially boned quail
1 quart water
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup milk
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 cup cooked wild rice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Unsalted butter and Canola oil
Garnish: 1 bunch watercress
Compote: 1 cup fresh or frozen tart berries: blackberries, raspberries, or cranberries
½ cup water
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
The night before: Dissolve the salt in the water and submerge the quail in this solution. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Preheat the smoker pan packed full with coals and mesquite or hickory. Heat water to place in a pan in the smoker.
Remove the quail from the brine. Pat dry and allow to warm to room temperature as you make the fire.
When the coals are white hot, set a pan filled with the heated water over the fire, and place the quail on an oiled rack above the pan of water. Cover and cook for 1-1/2 hours.
Hold the smoked birds at room temperature until serving time.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center. Whisk together the milk eggs and maple syrup. Pour this into the well and gradually stir the wet into the dry ingredients. Coarsely chop the wild rice and fold it into the batter.
Heat a skillet with a thin layer of equal parts butter and oil. Spoon 1/4 cup pancake batter onto the hot surface and cook for 2 minutes on each side, until they are both lightly browned. Collect on a plate and keep warm in a 300 degree oven. Continue with remaining batter adding more butter and oil as needed.
Garnish: A Rinse the watercress and spin dry. Remove tender tips and stems. Discard the large stem. Reserve.
Cranberry Compote: Pick over, rinse fresh berries and combine in a saucepan with the water, sugar, maple syrup and red pepper flakes. Cover the pan and bring to a simmer, stirring to assure that the sugar dissolves. Simmer for 5 minutes, covered, until the berries are soft.
Pass the compote through a sieve or fine disk of a food mill to remove the skins and seeds. Reserve.
Lay 2-3 wild rice pancakes on a plate. Place 3 sprigs of watercress on top and lay one quail over this bed. Drizzle the cranberry compote around the edge of the plate.