ISSUE 112

QUAIL, LICORICE, AND SWEET CORN

By Luke Dale-Roberts, The Test Kitchen,
Cape Town, South Africa

SERVES 4-6
FOR THE CURE

5¼ ounces rock salt
5 star anise
5 teaspoons peeled and sliced ginger

FOR THE CURED PINEAPPLE PUREE

1 pineapple
Clarified butter
3 ½ ounces hanepoot wine*
9 ounces cooked sweet potato

FOR THE QUAIL

3 quail
Vegetable oil

FOR THE LICORICE AND LIVER JUS

1 ounce sliced fresh licorice root
6 ¾ ounces  sherry
5 ½ ounces sliced onion
5 sprigs thyme
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
Vegetable oil
1 ¾ ounces  diced chicken livers
6 ¾ ounces dark brown stock

FOR THE SWEET CORN FOAM

6 cobs sweet corn

FOR THE SWEET CORN SALAD

12 cobs baby sweet corn
2 teaspoons chopped chives
Maldon sea salt
Olive oil

FOR THE DISH

3 chicken livers
6 green onions
Vegetable oil
6 baby sweet corns

FOR THE GARNISH

Pancetta crisps
Licorice powder

FOR THE CURE

Blend the salt, star anise and ginger together in a blender to make a cure. Set aside to use for the pineapple purée and quail.Churn the base in an ice-cream maker until frozen.

FOR THE CURED PINEAPPLE PUREE

Peel the pineapple and vacuum seal it on full pressure with 3 ½ ounces of the cure. Cure it for 1 hour. Remove the pineapple from the bag and rinse off the cure. Slice 7 ounces of the cured pineapple into chunks and cook it in clarified butter until golden brown. Cut the remaining cured pineapple into chunks and set aside for plating. Deglaze the pan with hanepoot. Blend the cooked pineapple with the sweet potato in a Thermomix until smooth. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt. Pass the purée through a fine-mesh sieve.

FOR THE QUAIL

Remove the quail legs. Clean the leg bones to make lollipops; use the excess leg skin to cover the meat. Rub the legs with the cure, a pinch of cure per leg. Put the legs in a small pot and fill with vegetable oil until the legs are completely covered. Put the pot over medium-low heat and cook until the meat is tender. Allow the legs to cool in the oil. Debone the quail breasts. Sous vide them with a little oil and salt at 130 degrees (54 degrees Celsius) for 30 minutes. Cool in an ice water bath.

FOR THE LICORICE AND LIVER JUS

Poach the licorice in the sherry over low heat. Cook the onion, thyme and garlic in a pan with oil until the onions are golden in color. Add the livers and continue to brown. Deglaze the pan with the sherry mixture. Add the stock and reduce to a light jus. Cool and strain the jus through a fine-mesh sieve.

FOR THE SWEET CORN FOAM

Remove the kernels from the cobs of corn and juice them.

FOR THE SWEET CORN SALAD

Use a peeler to remove the corn kernels from the cobs. Mix the corn kernels with the chives, a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of salt.

TO SERVE

Brown the quail legs and breasts in a pan. Sear the chicken livers and green onions in a pan with oil. Deep fry the baby sweet corns, drain on a paper towel and cut each into three pieces. Warm the sweet corn juice in a pot and use an immersion blender to create a foam. Slice the chicken livers into halves. Dot the pineapple purée around the plate and scatter the sweet corn salad. Arrange the quail leg, breast, ½ liver, green onion, cured pineapple piece, and fried baby corn pieces. Drizzle the jus over the liver. Garnish with a pancetta crisp, licorice powder and dollops of corn foam.
*Hanepoot is a South African wine made from a variety of muscat grape.

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