Wednesday, December 7, 2022 Dec 7, 2022
61° F Dallas, TX
Publications

Head to Billy Can Can for the Fried Quail

The old yard bird is paired with a "ranchovy" dressing.
By |
Image
Catherine Downes
Sometimes you don’t feel like chicken. Chef Matt Ford elevates a Southern standard by swapping quail for the old yard bird, adding pickles to the biscuit batter, and inventing an in-your-face “ranchovy” dressing. “As we were conceptualizing the menu, we were trying to find fun plays on classic staples,” Ford says. “Obviously Southern flavor played a big role in shaping Texas cuisine. I love fried chicken—I think most people do—and chicken and a biscuit is such a classic pairing. Quail is definitely a Texas thing, and fried quail is delicious.”

Image

QuailrnSourced weekly from Broken Arrow Ranch in the Texas Hill Country, the birds are semi-boneless. The meat is marinated in buttermilk, hot sauce, pickle juice, shallots, garlic, thyme, and rosemary before being double-rndredged in seasoned flour and fried until crispy.

Image

Spicy Hot OilrnCayenne pepper, smoked paprika, brown sugar, and garlic and onion powders are blended in a mixing bowl. When the dish is ordered, the kitchen adds some hot oil from the fryer to toast the spices. The quail is tossed inrnthe mixture.

Image

BiscuitsrnPickle brine and chopped bread-and-butter pickles are added to the buttermilk biscuit dough.

Image

Pickled OkrarnOkra is sourced from various farms around Texas. A pickling liquid made of distilled white vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, mustard powder, Old Bay Seasoning, bay leaves, and chile flakes is brought to a boil. The okra is dropped into the brew and boiled for five minutes. (Boiling okra in a high-acid vinegar solution helps eliminate sliminess.)

Image

ColeslawrnShredded cabbage, radishes, carrots, and cucumbers are dressed with Champagne vinegar and olive oil.

Image

The RanchovyrnThe dressing has the backbone of a Caesar. It is a mix of mayonnaise, buttermilk, garlic and onion powders, white wine vinegar, hot sauce, Dijon mustard, sugar, lemon juice, chopped parsley, chives, and tarragon. Fish sauce and Worcestershire add the umami flavor otherwise provided by anchovies.

Related Articles

Image
Restaurants

Al Biernat’s on Oak Lawn Gets a Facelift

The upgrade is timed to the steakhouse's 20th anniversary.
Restaurants

Top Rejected Names for New Fish & Fizz Restaurant

I'm going to drive this into the ground.
By Tim Rogers