Greg's cailles aux raisins secs
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This is a recipe we first made on 16 June 2017. We have eaten quails frequently, and in the past we have grilled them under bacon, but the prototypical dish for quails is cailles aux raisins, quails with grapes (French raisin). We have always been a bit dubious about the idea, especially as most recipes start with “peel the grapes”, but while researching the topic, came up with this recipe, notable for using dried grapes (“raisins secs”, or raisins). To avoid any confusion, here are the uses of the word “raisin”:

French       English
raisin       grape
raisin sec       raisin

The current recipe includes ideas from attempts on 26 July 2017, 22 November 2019 and 27 March 2021.


quantity       ingredient       step
50 g       dried raisins       1
50 g       cooking brandy (to cover)       1
1 (4g)       Chicken stock cube       2
10 g       sugar       2
      water       2
2       quails (400 g)       3
      oil       3
1 (50 g)       shallot       4
90 g       chopped smoked pork belly (lardons)       4


Start at least 2 hours before serving.

  1. Soak the raisins in brandy for at least 2 hours.

  2. Dissolve the stock cube and sugar in a little hot water.

  3. Brown the quails from all sides in oil in a pan.

  4. Chop the shallots finely and the pork a little less finely. Remove the quails and fry the shallots and pork.

  5. Add quails and spoon the mixture over them. Pour off and reserve excess brandy from the raisins. Add the raisins and stock cube mixture. Bring to the boil and simmer for 90 minutes, adding water if necessary.

  6. Shortly before serving, pour remaining brandy over the quails. Serve with rice.

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