breast over and continues cooking to rare
to medium-rare. The breast is then removed
from the pan, and allowed to rest. At service,
it is sliced, plated, sauced with a bourbon-or whiskey-based sauce, and served with
Louisiana sweet potatoes, roasted pecans,
fall vegetables, roasted apples and walnuts.
“I always prefer fresh over frozen. A
properly aged fresh bird has a distinctly
superior flavor to one that’s been frozen,
and the longer it’s frozen, the more flavor
the bird tends to lose,” McPhail says. “Plus,
although you can find duck year-round,
duck season is limited, and we serve only
when the season is here. Commander’s
Palace follows the seasons and matches
the foods appropriately.”
Philippe Boulot, Culinary Director, The Heathman Restaurant & Bar; Executive Chef, Multnomah Athletic Club Portland, Ore. Yield: 4 servings Salmis of Chukar
2 chukar partridges
ARE YOU GAME?
½ lb. butter, divided
2 oz. diced carrot
2 oz. diced onion
1 oz. diced celery
2 oz. diced bacon
2 oz. diced Gravenstein apple
2 oz. calvados
8 oz. dry apple cider
3 oz. veal stock
¼ oz. juniper berries
2 bay leaves
Salt and black pepper, to taste
½ lb. parsnips, peeled
½ lb. Brussels sprouts
½ lb. fingerling potatoes
¼ oz. chopped fresh thyme
¼ oz. chopped fresh rosemary
To help guests at Metrovino get comfortable
ordering game birds, Denton prepares
dishes with which his guests are familiar.
“Most restaurants menu quail stuffed and
baked or roasted or pan-fried, which, for
game bird first-timers is uninspiring and
could make them take a pass,” he says.
“Instead, we’ll prepare a dish that guests can
identify with and are more likely to order.”
and leg/thigh quarters from carcass. Set
aside. 2) Chop carcass into 1-inch pieces.
Sauté in saucepan with butter until browned.
Add carrot, onion, celery, bacon and apple;
put pan in oven to roast. 3) Deglaze with
calvados; put on stove until calvados has
almost evaporated. Add cider; reduce until
almost dry. Add veal stock, juniper berries
and bay leaves; bring to a simmer. Add
reserved breasts and leg/thigh quarters;
cook over low heat until meat is cooked
to medium. Remove; season with salt and
pepper. Reserve warm. 4) Strain remaining
liquid into second saucepan; whisk in
1 T. soft butter. Season sauce with salt and
pepper. 5) Toss parsnips, Brussels sprouts
and fingerling potatoes with thyme, rosemary
and remaining butter. Spread out on sheet
pan; roast in 350°F oven until golden-brown.
6) Divide vegetables among four plates.
Place a breast and a leg/thigh portion on
each plate. Spoon sauce over meat; serve.
1) Roast chukars in 350°F oven until two-thirds done (rare). Remove from oven; allow
to rest 20 minutes. Remove both breast
“The dish is traditional Americana—fried
chicken with baked beans and salad—with
a new twist of ingredients,” Denton says.
Denton menus quail as “chicken fried.”
Right away, a guest can identify with the
dish because of its familiar description, he
says. He sources quail from Nicky USA,
Inc., Portland, that are fresh, cleaned and
partially deboned (bones in the breast are
removed). Each bird costs $3.
as infuses flavor. At service, three breasts
and three legs (approximately one and a
half quail) are tossed in flour seasoned
with Hungarian paprika, cayenne, salt and
black pepper. “The quail pieces look like
how mom would make fried chicken, with
clumps of flour that will get toasty and
crunchy when fried,” Denton says.
After quartering the quail, the pieces are
soaked in buttermilk for a minimum of two
hours, and sometimes overnight, which
tenderizes and tightens the meat, as well
The coated pieces are deep-fried for about
four and a half minutes and yield a golden-
brown, crunchy coating and juicy interior,
with the meat near the bone slightly pink.
The quail is served on a bed of curried
lentils topped with herbed yogurt, along
with a watermelon/tomato salad with feta
and a fried quail egg ($25/24% food cost).
STICK WITH THE CLASSICS
Philippe Boulot, culinary director of The
Heathman Restaurant & Bar, Portland, and
executive chef of the Multnomah Athletic
Club, Portland, points out it’s important
to be aware of your clientele’s food
knowledge and dining habits regarding
game birds. “Some people are fully aware
of game birds and have no hesitation in
ordering the items or sometimes paying
high menu prices,” he says. “This is the
case with my guests, so I prefer to prepare
game birds in classic ways.”