Belazu innovation chef-in-residence Ross Gibbens pairs quail with Zhoug, a popular paste in Israeli street food. Pairing it with Freekeh makes this a rounded meal with plenty of fresh flavours.
Debone the whole quails from the backbone and working down to the legs. Skewer the legs of each bird together with toothpicks. This will help the quail stay flat and cook evenly
*A good butcher should be able to do this for you
Heat a griddle pan until hot. Add enough olive oil to the pan and leave until smoking hot.
Season the skin side of the birds with salt.
Meanwhile, place the freekeh, 800ml of water a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper into a pan and bring to a simmer for 20 mins until the water has evaporated.
Once the griddle pan is smoking hot, sear the quail skin side down. Immediately turn the heat down to low.
While the skin is searing, brush the Zhoug on the meat side of the quail.
Once the skin is golden brown, turn the heat off. Turn the quail over and let the residual heat finish off the cooking.
Squeeze half a lemon on each quail, then take out of the pan to rest.
To serve, serve each quail whole with with your Freekeh and a spoonful of Greek yoghurt.
*This dish is perfect with a glass of cold Picpoul de Pinet