This recipe for poached and roasted quail with smoked sweetcorn, poached eggs, girolles, lambs lettuce wascontributed by Matt Gillan, head chef at the Pass, South Lodge hotel, Lower Breeding, West Sussex.
(Serves 2)• 4 quail eggs
• 1 whole jumbo quail
• Oil for frying
• l00ml double cream
• 200g frozen sweetcorn
• 40g girolles or 50g oyster mushrooms
• 1 clove of garlic, cut in half
• 1 tsp chopped parsley (optional)
• Squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
• 1 corn on the cob, smoked
• 250ml chicken stock
• 10g Marmite
• 20g Bisto
• 5ml soy sauce,
• 10ml lime juice
• Lambs lettuce for garnish
Cut squares of clingfilm and set them in small round moulds (individual Christmas pudding moulds are perfect for this). Add a few drops of oil and crack the egg on to the clingfilm. Remove air from clingfilm and tie the ends like you would a balloon.
Bring a pan of water to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place quail in the water. Cook for 4 minutes. Remove from water and pat dry. Heat a frying pan with a little oil, season the quail with salt and colour well in the pan. Leave to rest for 5 minutes. Keep warm.
Put the cream in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add frozen sweetcorn and bring back to the boil. Pour into a liquidiser and blend. This will not be completely smooth. Season to taste with a little salt.
Using the same pan as for the quail, add some more oil and cook the mushrooms until tender with the split garlic clove and a little salt. Finish with parsley and lemon juice. Remove mushrooms from pan.
Cut the corn kernels from the cob with a knife and colour in the same pan. Mix the chicken stock, Marmite, Bisto, soy sauce and lime juice together and stir into the frying pan and heat just to thicken slightly.
Bring a small pan of water to the boil, place in quail eggs, wrapped in clingfilm, and cook for 21/2 minutes. Remove poached eggs from water and take off clingfilm.
To serve, remove the breasts and legs from the quail. Place a spoonful of sweetcorn purée on the two warmed plates, and put a leg and breast on the purée, with the halved quail eggs, on either side.
Sprinkle round the smoked sweet corn kernels and mushrooms. Spoon the sauce over and around the quail. Finish with a few leaves of lambs lettuce.