Hopefully you’ve been playing along at home, and now have a nice batch of cured lemons to start experimenting with. If not, you can catch-up in no time – just check out this video recipe for Thomas Keller’s cured lemons posted last week.
I ended up using these lovely lemons in a super-simple, but really gorgeous roast quail recipe. This would make a great special occasion first course, and really shows off the unique flavor of the preserved lemons. The recipe is stark, because I really wanted to taste what the lemons could do.
I usually don't tell you how to eat, but here I'm going to. You want to make sure each bite of quail has at least a tiny piece of the preserved lemon mashed on to it.
You can gauge your own personal tolerance for how much of the condiment to use, but it totally makes the bite. The way just a little bit draws out the flavors of the meat is a lot of fun.
I know many of you will ask, so I'll tell you right up front, you can find quail. Higher-end stores like Whole Foods will carry them frozen, and any decent poultry purveyor can find some for you. If all else fails, you can simply order them online.
If you can’t find quail, you can easily adjust this for game hens, or even chicken breasts (using the slice of cured lemon under the skin). By the way, I was thrilled with how my lemons turned out, especially in this recipe, and would love to hear what your experiences are. Enjoy!
Bonus Coverage: If you're as big a Thomas Keller fan as I am, check out this great post by YumSugar about the chef's demo, "The World's Best Preserves," from the 2010 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. That's where this whole cured lemons obsession started for me.
4 whole quail
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon coriander
pinch cayenne, optional
1 cup chicken broth
1 slice cured lemon, minced fine