I recently received some sample products from Game Farm. Jac and I were both very excited – Jac, to cook them; me, to eat them!
Game Farm has been around since 1975 and specialises in the breeding and processing of game birds and speciality poultry, and supply of game meats. The birds are grown locally in New South Wales with no added hormones, are grain-fed and free to fly around.
We had friends over for lunch a couple of Sundays ago and Jac was very keen to cook the whole quails we received from Game Farm – her very first time cooking quail. Our friends (as well as I) were her willing guinea pigs.
For the first course, she made corn chowder. The recipe came from Soups and Breads (Kitchen Classics series) by Jane Price. I chopped some fresh chives which we sprinkled on top of the chowder. It was a flavoursome, hearty winter soup, with lots of corn and potatoes. I enjoyed the leftover soup for my work lunch the next day.
We ate the soup with fresh crusty bread and plenty of butter. It was only afterwards as I cleared the table that I remembered our little tub of truffle butter sitting in the fridge. Oh well! I’m sure there will be plenty of other times to eat truffle butter.
To go with the quail main course, Jac peeled and parboiled potatoes, then roasted them in the oven till they were golden and crispy on the outside.
She made a salad of mixed leaves, cucumber, green beans, broccoli and avocado. She blanched the broccoli and green beans before tossing them through the rest of the salad.
The honey mustard quail dish was very easy to cook. Jac got the recipe from Game Farm’s website.
I made the honey and mustard dressing with Dijon mustard, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil and fresh lime juice while Jac cooked the quails. She cooked the birds in chicken stock for two minutes, then stuffed them with lime zest and fresh herbs (rosemary, sage and thyme). She brushed the quails with olive oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper just before she cooked them on the stove until golden brown. When the quails were cooked, we put them on a warm dish and I poured the honey and mustard dressing all over them. We let the quails rest for five minutes (while I took lots of photos) before serving.
I helped Jac plate up the quails and drizzled more dressing over them so we each had a beautiful shiny little quail on our plates.
The sage, thyme, rosemary and lime zest stuffing was fresh, fragrant and delicious. The honey mustard dressing was lovely – savoury-sweet – I think we’ll use it on some other meat/salad in future. Jac cooked the quail according to the recipe – for five to seven minutes, turning until they were golden brown. The quail legs were juicy but I found the breast meat, tender and moist as it was, a lot rarer than I generally like to eat meat. But that didn’t stop me enjoying the quail and leaving a pile of little bones behind. To get the meat off the bones you really need to put down your fork and knife and just use your fingers. I did this straight away so our guests didn’t think they had to struggle with cutlery for the sake of good table manners. :) We all enjoyed the quail and Jac’s crispy roast potatoes were a big hit too.
For dessert, Jac made a fruit platter with pears, apples, kiwifruit, pineapple and strawberries.
To go with the fruit, plain water crackers and three cheeses – a Brie we bought at the Good Food & Wine Show and Maasdam and Pradera from the Mundaring Truffle Festival. We washed it all down with cups of tea. The Pradera was the winner – we couldn’t stop eating it.
It was a lovely leisurely lunch – our friends arrived a little after 1pm and didn’t go home until almost 5pm!
Thank you to Game Farm for the quails. I think chicken will always be my favourite bird to eat but the quail was pretty tasty. Game Farm has sent us a number of other game bird and specialty poultry products (all frozen) to try and Jac’s downloaded more recipes from their website. Now that she’s cooked quails, she’s keen to cook something else she has not cooked before – so stay tuned!