Quail Mulligatawny

by Marcus Wareing

Starter Medium ​​​​​​​ 4 ​​​​​​​ Prep/Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes


4 quails

1/4 bunch of thyme, tied together with string

3 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly smashed

1l chicken stock

25g of butter

2 tbsp of vegetable oil

50g of puy lentils

25g of butter

2 onions, peeled and chopped

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and grated

2 tbsp of mild curry powder

300ml of chicken stock

2 tbsp of plain flour

100g of sweet potato, peeled and diced into 1cm cubes

400ml of coconut milk

1 pinch of salt

1 large onion, sliced into rings

300g of breadcrumbs

1 egg, beaten

4 tbsp of plain flour

vegetable oil

coriander cress


1. To begin, cook the lentils in simmering water for approximately 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain and set aside until needed

2. Melt the butter in a pan and add the onion, apple and a pinch of salt. Cook, without colouring, for 3–4 minutes until they begin to soften

3. Add the curry powder and flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently until fragrant

4. Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to remove the sediment. Simmer for 2 minutes, then pass the stock through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan

5. Add the coconut milk and sweet potato to the soup and simmer for about 10 minutes until the sweet potato is cooked and the soup is thick. Add the cooked lentils, heat through and season to taste

6. To prepare the quails, place the chicken stock, thyme and garlic into a pan over a medium heat and bring to a simmer

7. Add the quails and simmer for 2–3 minutes

8. Remove the quails with a slotted spoon and drain on sheets of kitchen paper

9. When cool enough to handle, use a sharp knife to carefully cut the quail breasts away from the bone in one piece. Remove the legs from the carcasses

10. Heat a frying pan until hot and add the oil and butter. Once the butter is foaming, season the quail breasts and legs then place, skin-side down, in the pan. Fry for 3–5 minutes or until there is moderate resistance when the thickest part of the breast is squeezed (or until completely cooked through if you prefer) and the legs are crispy

11. Remove the meat from the pan and leave to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes

12. Preheat a deep-fryer to 180°C

13. Whilst the meat is resting, make the onion rings. Dip each slice of onion in flour, then beaten egg, then breadcrumbs. Deep-fry until golden and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper

14. To serve, spoon the lentils and sweet potato into the bottom of each dish and place the quail legs on top, followed by the quail breasts. Pour over the soup and garnish with the deep-fried onion rings and coriander cress