Saturday, June 15, 2013

Caille - Quail. Quail on the Menu in France.

The quail on nearly all
French restaurant menus are farm raised.
from
Behind the French Menu
by
Bryan Newman 
Updated 2016.

Quail and their eggs.
Photograph Yay Micro.

Farm raised quail taste slightly sweeter than chicken and when simply roasted you will note that very slightly sweeter taste.  Quail is also more easily flavored than chicken and so often that slightly sweeter taste is lost among the other flavors in the cooking process.


Roast quail for three.
Photograph YaY Micro

A serving of quail, a whole European quail, will most likely weigh in at less than 150 grams and that’s with the bones; if the quail are any smaller you will often be served two.
  
Quail on the French menu:
   
 Caille à la Stanislas - Quail in the manner prepared for Stanislas, Duke of Bar and Lorraine, France.  In the original  recipe the quail was deboned, roasted and then served stuffed with foie gras.  Caille à la Stanislas   is still on some French  menus today; however, the amount of fois gras   will be greatly reduced from that in the served in the original dish. That should not be too surprising, given today's cost of foie gras in France.

Stanislas, before he became a French Duke, was a Polish king who was fired from that job, twice!  Unemployed king's do not usually have good job prospects; nevertheless, Stanislas received the title and the job of Duke of Lorraine from his son-in-law, who was King Louis XV of France. Stanislas also received a chateau outside the city of Nancy in the Lorraine.  The chateau was not a small one and it is still  known as the  Versailles of the Lorraine.  Stanislas's  building of  three stunning squares in the City of Nancy  would make the city world famous and  the squares are now UN World Heritage sites. Despite Stanislas's  great works and progressive rule he is  probably better  remembered as the man who gave the name to the dessert rhum baba .  Rhum Baba or Rum Baba was first served in Stanislas's chateau just outside the city of Nancy.

Caille Rôtie Farcie de Girolles, de Cèpes et de Roquette, Sauce Porto Quail roasted while stuffed with the  girolle chanterelle mushroom,  and cèpes, the French Porcini mushroom,  along with rocket leaves. The dish is served with a port wine sauce. Despite France having its own Port style wines,  both Port and Madeira wines will be in every French kitchen and in many sauces.
  

            


Fig and quail egg salad.
Photograph Yay Micro
   
Caille Aux Raisins - Quail prepared and served with grapes.
  
                                  




California quail
Photograph courtesy of  BioDivLibrary
     
La Crème de Topinambours en Cappuccino et Son Effilochée de Poitrine de Caille – A frothy cream of Jerusalem artichoke soup served with small pieces of quail breast. The use of the word cappuccino in this menu listing refers to the froth on the soup and not to coffee. When the Italians named their coffee creation cappuccino little attention was paid to the froth. Cappuccino coffee received its name from the color of the milky coffee, which is similar to the color of the hood of a Capuchin friar's robes. However, do not let us get confused by the facts.  On today's French menus cappuccino, apart from when the word is actually used for cappuccino coffee, means froth. The word effilochée in this menu listing indicates the way the quail meat has been cut. Your French-English dictionary  will show the translation of effilochée as frayed; however on a French menu effilochée refers to the way  meat is cut and here it indicates the slicing of quail breast into small pieces to serve in the soup.
  
Salade d'Oeuf de Caille, Pointe d'Asperge et Aiguillette de Canard. A salad of quails’ eggs, they will be served either fried or boiled, whichever looks better, along with asparagus spears and slices of duck.
   

Quail egg salad.
Photograph by Apolonia courtesy of freedigitalphotos
    
Salade de Cailles Rôties au Vinaigre Balsamique – A salad of roasted quail dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette.     
  
Quail Eggs      
      
The European quail is a little smaller than the American quail. Despite the quail family's connection to pheasants you would not know it to taste one or to look at one. Farms that raise quail also raise these birds for their beautiful eggs; quail eggs are an essential part of quail farming economics.
    
   

Quail eggs
Photograph by Phiseksit courtesy of freedigitalphots.net
   
Quail eggs taste exactly the same as a chicken egg; however, if you were planning to make an omelet the size of a two chicken-egg omelet you will need about 10 quail eggs.
    

A hen’s egg and a quail egg.
Photograph Yay Micro.
    
During the short hunting season, wild quail are legally hunted in France; if they appear on a restaurant’s menu the term used will be caille sauvage, wild quail. Wild quail are smaller and stronger tasting than the farmed variety, but they are also tougher and so they will be prepared with different recipes to farmed quail.
   
                            


Wild quail in the bushes.
Photograph courtesy of SidPix
   
In the Old Testament, Exodus 16, it is the quail, along with Manna that God sent for the Israelites to eat in the desert. The original recipe or recipes, served at that time, have been lost in the sands of the Sinai desert. In France, there are many new and recreated recipes for quail.  
 
Quail in the languages of France's neighbors:
  

(Catalan - guatlla, guatla, guàtlera), (Dutch - kwartel), (German - wachtel), (Italian - quaglia comune), (Spanish -  codorniz común).

  
Bryan G Newman 
   
Behind the French Menu
Copyright 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016
    
For information on the unpublished book behind this blog contact Bryan Newman
at
behindthefrenchmenu@gmail.com