Reprinted with permission from My New Orleans: The Cookbook by John Besh (Andrews McMeel 2011).
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
Yield: Serves 8
FOR THE GUMBO
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup flour
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 10 cups duck stock or Basic Chicken Stock (page 23)
- ¼ cup Worcestershire
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound smoked pork sausage links, sliced into 2-inch-thick rounds
- ½ cup thick-sliced okra
- Freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE STUFFED QUAIL
- 8 semi-boneless quail
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon rendered bacon fat
- ½ pound andouille sausage, minced
- 3 cups cooked white rice
- ½ cup minced onion
- ¼ cup minced red bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon thin-sliced green onion
- 1 cup gumbo
- 1 cup dried bread crumbs
- For the gumbo, make a roux by heating the oil in a large cast-iron or heavy-bottomed pot over high heat. Whisk the flour into the hot oil. It will immediately begin to sizzle. Reduce the heat to moderate and continue whisking until the roux takes on a deep brown color, about 15 minutes. Add the onions, stirring them into the roux with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue stirring until the roux is a rich dark brown, about 10 minutes.
- At this point the roux will begin to darken quickly, so continue to stir while adding the celery, bell peppers, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook for 5 minutes, then increase the heat to high and add duck stock or Chicken Stock to the pot. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat to low.
- Add the Worcestershire, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, smoked sausage, and okra to the pot and simmer for 1 ½ hours. Stir occasionally and skim off the fat from the surface of the gumbo every so often. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm over low heat until ready to serve.
- For the stuffed quail, while the gumbo is cooking, place the quail breast side down on a cutting board and butterfly by cutting lengthwise through the backs of the birds, keeping their breasts intact. Season with salt and pepper.
- To make the stuffing, heat the bacon fat in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the andouille, stirring with a wooden spoon, and cook until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and add the rice, onions, bell peppers, garlic, and green onions. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, over moderate heat for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the gumbo and the bread crumbs and stir to mix well.
- Preheat the oven to 475°. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for about 30 minutes. Put a large spoonful of the stuffing on the breast of each quail (see photo, right).
- Wrap the skin of the quail around the stuffing and secure with a toothpick. Turn the bird breast side up, and crimp the legs together with a piece of aluminum foil. Repeat with all the quail. Season with a little salt and pepper, place the birds in a baking pan, and roast until golden brown, 15-18 minutes. Remove the foil and the toothpicks. Ladle the gumbo into individual bowls and place a roasted stuffed quail in the middle of each bowl.