Quail with chestnuts and butternut squash

Quail is wonderful paired with crunchy roasted chestnuts and butternut squash.

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For the brine

For the quail

For the salad

  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 9 fresh chestnuts in shells, roasted, peeled and roughly chopped (reserve 4 to finely chop for the garnish)
  • 1 tbsp dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp roughly shredded flatleaf parsley
  • 100g/3½oz butternut squash, peeled and julienned

For the dressing

To serve


  1. Bring 500ml/18fl oz water and the brine ingredients to the boil then remove from the heat and cool.

  2. Spatchcock the quail by cutting up the back with a pair of scissors. Place in a bowl and cover with the cooled brine and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

  3. Remove the quail from the brine and pat dry. Season with the oil and a little salt and pepper.

  4. Place a large griddle pan over a hih heat. Once hot, cook the quail skin side down for 3½ minutes, then 3½ minutes on the other side. (The quail will still have some pink parts when done.)

  5. For the salad, mix all of the salad ingredients, except the butternut squash. Set aside.

  6. For the dressing, whisk all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Put the butternut squash in the dressing for 5 minutes to soften. Just before serving add the dressing to the salad.

  7. Heat the oil in a frying pan with the finely chopped chestnuts. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

  8. Place the quail on serving plates and drizzle over the chopped chestnuts. Serve the salad alongside.

Recipe Tips

If you have a sous vide you could cook the butternut squash in it before slicing it into thin strips. If you cook it this way you don't need to soak it in the dressing.