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  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

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.

  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Bison Strip Strak with Quick Bordellaise Sauce



Ingredients for 6 servings:


2 1/2 pounds bison strip steaks

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup olive oil

1 shallot, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

2 stems fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

1 bottle pinot noir or other varietal red wine

2 tablespoons veal demi-glace OR pan drippings from bison saute

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste




Bison:  Remove steaks from the refrigerator an hour before cooking.  Trim excess fat from the meat, lightly salt and pepper.  Reserve.


Sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small saucepan.  When hot stir in the shallots, garlic, thyme and bay leaf and simmer until the shallots begin to brown.  Pour in the wine and reduce at an active simmer to 1/2 cup.  Set aside.


Searing Bison:  Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  Wipe the seasonings from the steaks and pat them dry.   Heat remaining olive oil in a skillet until almost smoking.  Sear the steaks for 4 minutes on each side.  Remove them to a platter and place in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.


Finishing the Sauce:   Reheat the sauce and stir in the demi-glace or the juices strained from the meat after 10 minutes.  Simmer for another 5 minutes.


Slice the meat against the grain.  Pour any remaining juices into the sauce.  Strain the sauce into a clean saucepan and reheat.  Whisk in the butter one tablespoon at a time.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately spooned over strip steak slices.


  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Duck Breast with Liver and Apricots





4 duck breast halves

Sea salt, freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil, as needed

1 bunch scallions, trimmed to white with 1" light green

livers from the 2 ducks above, chopped

3 ounces dried apricots, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon Moutarde Violette de Brive

2 cups bitter greens: watercress, arugula, frisee, endive

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste




Remove the breast pieces from the refrigerator, score the fat skin and lightly season with salt and pepper.  Allowit to stand, lightly covered for 1 hour.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Heat a heavy saute pan.


Dry off the meat and place the breasts, skin side down in the pan.  Cook for 5 minutes, turning once for the last minute.  Place in the preheated oven while making the salad. (5-7 minutes)


Add olive oil as needed to coat the skillet. Saute the scallions over medium heat for 2 minutes, until they wilt.  Add the liver and apricots along with a little salt and pepper.  Saute until the liver has lost its raw color.  Pour on the balsamic vinegar and deglaze the pan.  Off the heat fold in the salad greens and pour on juices from the breast meat in the oven.


Divide the hot salad among 4 warmed plates. Serve the breast pieces whole, or quickly slice diagonally and fan out over the salad.


  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Duck Confit




6 whole duck legs


24 hour Marinade:

1-1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

(mixed with 3/4 teaspoon Quatre Epice optional)

Coarsely ground black peppercorns

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves striped from the stem

4 coarsely crushed bay leaf



1 pint rendered duck fat

1 pint lard (or duck fat)

2 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed

2 whole cloves

10 black peppercorns





Lightly cover the duck legs with the mixture of salt, pepper, herbs and optional spices.  Cover and refrigerate 24 hours.  Remove from the refrigerator 1 hour prior to cooking.



Render the duck fat or heat the mixture of fats in a heavy pot with 1/2 cup water and the seasonings for 20 minutes.  Strain out the seasonings.


Wipe all the salt off the duck legs and brown them in some of the seasoned fat.  Place them in the pot of melted fat and simmer slowly for 3 hours adding 1/3 cup water every hour.  At the end of this time the meat should be fully cooked and quite tender.


Then duck legs can be drained and served immediately or cooled and stored in fat to cover for several weeks.  Unused fat is strained and refrigerated to be used again.


Serving:  Duck confit may be served with browned potatoes and and salad.




  • Written by Madelaine Bullwinkel

Duck Breast with Fresh Figs


Ingredients for 4 persons:

2 duck breasts (Muscovy preferred)

2 teaspoons five-spice powder (homemade if necessary*)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 - 15 black figs

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 shallots, minced

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

1 cup dry red wine

1 tablespoons duck or veal stock (optional)

Coarse sea salt


Trim off extra skin and score the fat on duck in criss-cross.  Rub the duck with spices mixed with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.  Marinate for 2 hours.


Heat a grill or cast-iron skillet to very hot.  Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.  Sear the duck breasts on fat side, about a minute, until dark brown.  Turn and sear on flesh side about 1-1/2 minutes until browned or sear the duck on both sides in a skillet.  Transfer the duck to a baking dish and place in the oven for 20 minutes.


Rinse and dust the figs with ground pepper.  Sear on the grill 3-5 minutes or in a skillet, until starting to sizzle. Remove and halve.


Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet, add shallots and cook until soft.  Stir in thyme and half the wine.  Cook until wine just films pan.  Stir in the stock if available.  Add figs and remaining wine; cook until wine is reduced by a third.  Stir in remaining butter.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from the heat.


Serve duck after it's baking period, or reduce heat to 150 degrees and hold up to 30 minutes more.  Slice breast meat on the bias and spoon on sauce.





1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground star anise

1/2 teaspoon ground anise seed

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves


Mix the spices together well.  Keep sealed airtight


(If you have trouble finding the star anise or anise seed in ground form, pulverize them in the food processor  for several minutes and pass through a sieve.  Use only the powder.)