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Best quail dish ever! How to debone a quail and make a roulade or ballotine

Today we’re going to make a beautiful quail dish. We’re going to make a quail ballotine filled with a quail and broad bean farce, a white onion cream, pickled chive flowers and massed potatoes.

How to clean the quail

I use 3 quails for 6 persons. First remove the wings on the second joint. All the trimming you can keep for later. Now turn the quails around, give them a little push and start making an incision along the spine. Then just continue cutting down all along the carcass. Once the carcass is completely removed make an incision on the legs and remove the bones. Then gently pull the legs from the skin. Keep them in your fridge for later. Also gently remove the breasts. Now use the tip of your knife to clean the skin and keep it aside for later.

The quail filling

85 grams

quail trimmings

30 grams


3 grams


20 grams


40 grams

cold cream

400 grams

broad beans

Transfer the trimmings into a blender and blend them till smooth. Then add the egg, the salt and the butter. Blend it for a couple more minutes till smooth and emulsified. Once smooth add the cold cream and then directly stop mixing to prevent it form splitting. Then transfer it into a bowl.

Meanwhile take the broad beans and clean them. Now season some boiling water with salt and blanch the broad beans for 2 minutes. Then cool them down in ice water. After that peel away the thin skin around the beans. Now add half of the beans to the filling and mix it well. Then transfer the quail breast on a piece of plastic foil and put another piece of foil on top. Now use a small saucepan to flatten the breast into a sheet.

Then take the quails skin and gently lay it on some plastic foil. Then remove the top foil from the quail meat and transfer the meat on the skin. Season the top with salt and black pepper. Now lay the filing on top. Then use the foil to cover your farce with the quail and make a nice tight roll. Use the sides to make it even tighter and then let it rest in your fridge for at least 3 hours.

The quail sauce or glace

The quail trimmings



1,5 liters

rich chicken stock

80 grams


Rich balsamic vinegar

Transfer the quail trimmings on a tray and toast them at 200 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes. Then cut the onion in half and clean it. Now chop it. After that heat up a saucepan, add a splash of oil and glaze the onions on a medium heat. Then add the toasted bones and glaze it for a couple more minutes. Once that’s done deglaze it with the rich chicken stock and reduce it for 80%. After that pass it through a fine sieve and let it drain well so you don’t waste a single drop. Then bring it to a boil and bind it with around 80 grams of butter and season with salt. The sauce is very rich in flavor so balance it with a drizzle of vinegar. I use a beautiful deep & sweet balsamic vinegar.

The pickled chives

chives flowers

250 grams

white wine vinegar

150 grams


150 grams


2 pieces


First pick some chives flowers and transfer them into a preserving jar. Then transfer the white wine vinegar into a saucepan together with the water and the sugar. Now take the lemongrass, break them and then tie a knot with it. Also add it to the saucepan and then bring it to a boil. Now pour it on the chive flowers. Then cover the preserving jar and let it cool down completely upside down.

The white onion cream

1 kg

white sweet onions

100 grams


15 grams

white wine vinegar

Xanthan powder

First cut the white sweet onions in half and remove the skin. Then chop them. Now pour a splash of oil in a big frying pan and add the chopped onions and a large amount of salt. Start glazing it on a low heat till completely soft. This can easily take 2 hours. Once completely soft add the cream and the white wine vinegar and reduce this as well. Now transfer it into a blender and blend it into a smooth cream. Once smooth bind it with a touch of Xanthan powder. Then transfer it into a piping bottle and keep it in your fridge for later.

The quail eggs

First submerge them completely with cold water and bring the water to a boil on a medium heat. Once boiling let them cook for 90 seconds and then directly cool them down in ice water. Then peel them. After that cut them in half, season them with salt and keep them in your fridge for later.

The mashed potatoes

900 grams

floury potato

1 liter


10 grams


80 grams


300 grams


Peel the floury potato and cut them in big chucks. Now transfer them into a big pot and cover them with the water. Add the salt for seasoning and boil the potatoes on a medium heat. Once cooked drain them and let them steam dry for 5 minutes. Once that’s done press them through a fine sieve. Then transfer it back into the pan. Now pour the milk into a saucepan together with the butter and bring this to a boil. Then slowly add the butter mixture to the potatoes and fold everything together till completely smooth. Now season with salt.

How to cook the quail and finish the dish

First cut some cooking rope in smaller pieces and lay them on your cutting board. Also lay one big one horizontal. Gently place the quail on the rope and tie the ends together. Do this tight, but not so tight that you press the filling out of the quail. Remove any excess rope and then season the outside with salt. Then heat up a frying pan, add a splash of oil and start frying the ballotine all around till golden. Once golden add two knots of butter and evenly baste the quail for around 3 minutes. Then pour the hot fat on top and let it rest at 40 degrees Celsius for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile chop some chives and then we can also begin to finish the dish. Start by filling a side dish with a proper amount of the hot massed potatoes. Then lay three halves of the quail eggs on top and sprinkle some chives on there. Cover it and keep it warm in the oven of 40 degrees Celsius. Then take the quail, remove the rope and portion into the desired thickness. Glaze the top with the hot glaze and put some broad beans on there. Decorate it with the pickled chive flowers. Then pipe a nice dot of the onion cream in the middle of a plate and place the ballotine on there. Finish it off with a nice spoon of the quail glaze and then it’s ready to be served. Bon appetit!


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