4 Quail, 4 to 6 ounces each
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Fine sea salt and ground white pepper

Marinate the quail in the parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper for about 30 minutes.


2 cups cooked wild rice
1 cup small diced toasted French bread
1 tablespoon minced herbs (equal parts thyme, chives and parsley)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and white pepper (season to taste)

Combine all ingredients and season to taste. You can stuff the quail with about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the stuffing mix.


1 1/2 cups dried black figs (cut in half)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup port wine
2/3 cup water
1/2 tablespoons minced herbs (equal parts parsley, thyme and chives)

In a sauce pot on medium heat, sauté the shallots in olive oil until translucent. Add and the walnuts and figs and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the port and water. Simmer all the ingredients until the walnuts have softened and there is about ¼ of the liquid left. Remove the mixture from the heat and let it cool slightly. Place the mix in a food processor and blend until uniform in color and appearance.


1 quart balsamic vinegar
2 cups 64% milk chocolate

Simmer the vinegar on low heat until it reduces to about 1 cup of liquid. Melt the chocolate using a double-boiler. This provides a softer heating element than direct flame or microwave. While both ingredients are warm, slowly add the vinegar reduction to the chocolate while stirring. Combine the vinegar and chocolate flavors to suit your taste.


Pre-heat oven to 425F.

Season all the quail with salt and pepper to suit your taste. In a sauté pan on medium-high heat, sear the quail for about 2 minutes per side. (Sear the breast side first). Remove pan from heat. Using either a small spatula or spoon, evenly baste the fig puree on to the breast side of the quails. Place the pan with the quail in the oven for about 4 to 5 minutes to crisp up the fig puree. Remove the quail from the pans and place them on serving plates. Drizzle the balsamic-chocolate reduction over the quail. For an appetizer, garnish with fresh arugula and diced tomatoes marinated in olive oil and herbs.

Serves 4.

(Not tested by Texas Monthly.)