Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Story-A-Day #167: Quaint Quail


Tiny birds, palm-sized if anything. Lined up on a plate, there is still ample space for accoutrements – a garden salad with blueberries, some roasted potatoes, a side of beans.

Each of the birds is topped in a lemon garlic watercress paste, a subtle hint of earthiness mingled with a spicy bite.

The quail are stuffed with blueberries and acai, a delicious mixture crammed into the tiny enclosure of their ribs.

There is work to be done for this meal, a scavenger hunt to pull meat from the bone. Cutlery is almost futile in the quest for meat. A different approach is needed. A bird in hand as they say…

The meat is tender and succulent, slightly richer in flavour than the quail’s larger chicken and turkey brethren.

Each bird yields the equivalent meat of a chicken wing, although the rewards and presentation are far more refined.

This is an experience as much as a meal, a feast in reduction. This is a delectable treat.

The hum of conversation circles the table, exclamations of delight and approval infused with discussions of the day just past, and the ones to come.

The soft clink of wine glasses preludes a toast to the chef.

This culinary experiment has been a success.

There are rewards to be found in the willingness to embrace new dishes. There is satisfaction to be gained from the success of something different.

The plates are quickly emptied. All that remains are tiny piles of bone and skin.

All eyes turn to dessert, the culmination of the evening.

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