Risotto Con Le Quaglie


6 quails, boned and ready to cook
sage leaves
4 very thin slices lard or pancetta
3 oz. butter
2 tbs. brandy
1 cup dry white wine
1 qt. beef broth
1 medium size white onion
10 oz. long-grain rice
6 tbs. Parmigiano

How to make the Risotto with Quails:

Salt and pepper the insides of the quail and insert a sage leaf. Wrap the quails with the pancetta or lard slices, fastening with toothpicks. Melt 1 oz. of butter in a saucepan and brown the quails, moistening with 1/2 cup of wine and brandy. When the wine evaporates, add salt and pepper and roast for 12 mins., moistening with broth as needed. Cool the quail, strain, de-glaze the pan juices and set aside. Quarter the quails and remove the breast bone. Return pan juices to the saucepan and add the quail pieces. Complete cooking for another 6 mins. over a low flame.

In the meantime, prepare a risotto using half the remaining butter, the onion finely minced, the rest of the wine, and the broth, according to the basic procedure.

When risotto is cooked (al dente), remove from fire and add the remaining butter and the Parmigiano. Pour the risotto into a serving dish, arrange the quails all around, alternating legs and breasts. Drizzle the edge of the risotto with the pan juices, and serve.

Serves 6