Freebird! Freebird!

The wife is afflicted with a seasonally induced craving for cranberry sauce, and she’s been buying bags of berries on a regular basis. Yesterday, she made a big pot of sauce, and then asked me “what do we have in the freezer that goes with cranberry sauce?” The answer: “Quail.” In this way was dinner determined.

I had various pieces of a goose undergoing various operations in fridge, stove, and oven, so I figured I’d take advantage of the large amounts of fat and stock which were being generated. Fat and stock pretty much equals gravy, so I figured I’d go all Southern-fried on their tiny asses. I soaked the four little semi-boneless birds in buttermilk for a couple of hours, then dredged them in flour seasoned with smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and 5-spice. While they fried, I made a pot of polenta, and whisked up some gravy with goose fat and goose phở. And steamed some kale.

This was every bit as good as it sounds. Kinda Thanksgiving-y, too, which is good, because I won’t be posting again until next week. Happy overeating and fighting with your obnoxious relatives to all.

8 comments to Freebird! Freebird!

  • Ant Kendall

    Dude, loving your oriental leaning. Have you ever tried stripping Kale from its stem, shredding it and deep frying it in spanking-clean oil? Drain well on paper, then season with toasted fivespice salt pepper and a touch of sugar. It's pretty much what is described as crispy seaweed in Chinese restaurants. The ket is for the oil not to be too hot…maybe 150…otherwise it burns and turns bitter before it crisps. Ayyeee!

  • cookiecrumb

    That photo looks something like a shot from Knocked Up. Hee.
    Happy TG to you and yours, dude.

  • Julia

    Various pieces of goose sounds very good. So does the quail, but I'm curious about the goose. Guess we'll have to wait.

  • Zoomie

    What's Milo's favorite part of Thanksgiving? Happy day to you all!

  • Jen of A2eatwrite

    This meal had ALL my favorite things, I think.

    Loving cranberry time, too, these days.

  • cook eat FRET

    happy thanksgiving. come to nashville and cook for me? is that asking so much? i know your ass has a price. not that i want your ass. seriously.

  • peter

    Ant: The fried kale sounds great. I will try it.

    CC: I know. There were less flattering angles, too.

    Julia: Your long wait is over.

    Zoomie: Pie.

    Jen: Cranberry sauce is so good.

    Claudia: Buy the ticket, and I'll come.

  • Ant Kendall

    be warned if you try the fried kale thing…..is spits and crackles like crazy, you need to chuck it in the pan/fryer in small quantities very quickly and cover with a mesh or lid untill the spitting dies down.

Yours Truly



I'm a painter who happens to also spend a lot of time growing, making, and writing about food. I'm particularly interested in the intersection of frugal peasant cooking techniques and haute improvisation. And I have a really great personality.

Rage Against The Vitrine

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