I spent some time over spring break in West Side Market up in Cleveland where I got my hot little hands on quail eggs and duck breasts. These two ingredients were key to a recipe I’d been concocting in my dreams and of which I was terrified. Sadly pomegranates are not in season and so couldn’t be the color, crunch and sweetness to this dish – which I believe was part of its downfall. Not that the dish wasn’t yummy, it just wasn’t there yet and needs some tweaking. Also there is nothing in this world cuter than a little quail egg or even a dozen.
It’s very simple: place duck breast skin down in a skillet after scoring the skin and let the fats of the bird cook it to perfection while you prepare some stock (either duck or chicken), throw in leeks and shallots in the pan with the duck, serve over pappardelle with fried quail egg on top. I cut the shallots length wise and peeled away the little cups of shallot to create a nest for the quail yolk which formed the center of a flower of sliced duck breast over the pasta, then poured the stock over top. Next time I’d love to use rag cut noodles. It’s more a winter than spring dish and is very comforting but could use some more work. I consoled myself by pairing it with Southern Tier’s Gemini whose sweet hoppy notes complimented the rich game nature of the duck and its buddies.