1/2 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup good-quality port (preferably not too sweet)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
several sprigs of fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon juniper berries
8 quail, preferably fresh, with breast and backbones removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds poultry bones, necks, and wing tips (quail, chicken, duck, or any combination of the three)
2 carrots, roughly chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
3 ribs celery, roughly chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 clove garlic, crushed with the flat of a knife blade
3 quarts water
1/2 cup veal stock or beef broth
1 cup good quality port
2 tablespoons good-quality port
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
The Port Sauce accompaniment may be made while the quail is marinating. Combine the bones, vegetables, and seasonings in a roasting pan and roast in a 375°F oven for 2 hours, turning occasionally, until everything is well browned.
Transfer the bones and vegetables to a heavy-bottomed stockpot and cover with the water. Bring to a boil, add the beef and veal stock or beef broth, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook 1 1/2 hours. Strain this rich stock into another saucepan, add the cup of port, and simmer again to reduce liquid to 1 1/2 cups. At this point the sauce may be cooled and refrigerated for up to two days. Rewarm the sauce during the quail's preparation and add the final enrichment of port and butter just prior to serving. This will both enhance the final flavor and give the sauce a silken sheen.
To cook the quail, preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat 2 tablespoons of
olive oil in a castiron or other heavy-bottomed, ovenproof skillet over
medium heat. Drain the quail of excess marinade and pan roast,
uncovered, until mahogany in color (about 3 minutes on each side).
Place the ovenproof skillet and quail in the oven for 9 minutes. Serve
immediately with the port sauce.
Serves 4 as an entree or 8 as a first course.