Quail Lucéram style

Quails-Luceram-style


The village of Lucéram about 27 km north of Nice has traditional links with Piedmont on the Italian side. The elderly people still speak an Occitan subdialect, and Lucéram’s gastronomy has strong Italian roots.

The following dish, caille à la polenta, quails with polenta, was served in winter after the hunting season The recipe is adapted from the wonderful cookery book A Table in Provence by Leslie Forbes.


The quails I used for this recipe were bought from our local supermarket in Nice. They were Label Rouge free-range quails from Landes. For convenience I used Chez Bernard ready-made polenta which was a rectangular sheet about 3 cm thick. This only needed slicing and warming in the oven.

For 2 servings:

4 quails
100 ml red wine
2 tbsp olive oil
10- 12 cherry tomatoes
Parsley to decorate

For the filling four 4 quails:

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large tomato, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp dried thyme
Freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce for 2 servings:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
100 ml red wine
100 ml chicken stock
50 ml tomato purée
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 210⁰ C.

Cook the filling in a frying pan over medium heat for about 10 minutes until the shallots are soft. Fill the quails and place them in an oven-proof dish. Pour 100 ml red wine in the bottom of the dish and sprinkle 2 tbsp olive oil over the quails. Roast for 10 minutes in 210⁰ C. Then cover the quails with foil and continue roasting. The total roasting time will be 35-40 minutes.
Roasted Quails

Meanwhile cook the sauce in a small saucepan. Bring all the ingredients to a boil, and then reduce the heat to simmering. Simmer until the sauce is reduced to about half. Cover and keep warm.

Slice the polenta and cover with foil. Place in the oven when 15 minutes of roasting the quails remains.

Remove the foil covering the quails when about 10 minutes of roasting time remains.  Place the cherry tomatoes in the oven-proof dish. They will be nicely roasted in 10 minutes.

Serve the quails with the sliced polenta, the roasted cherry tomatoes and the sauce. Decorate with parsley.

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