Quail Breasts on Tarator Sauce with Pomegranate Gremolata
The nut-based tarator sauce is typically served with fried food (often mussels) in Turkey. It’s lovely here with fried quail, and we added a pomegranate, parsley & lemon zest gremolata to bring some acidity and color to the dish.
Ingredients: Makes 10 Appetizer or 5 Light Starter Servings
10 Boneless Quail Breasts
1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
Neutral-Flavored High Heat Oil for Frying
Salt and Pepper
1 slice Firm White Sandwich Bread, crusts removed
1 Garlic Clove
1/4 cup Slivered Almonds, toasted and cooled
1/4 cup Shelled Hazelnuts, toasted and cooled
2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice, plus additional as needed
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 to 1 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Pomegranate Seeds
1/2 cup Parsley Leaves, medium chopped
1/2 tsp Lemon Zest
1 clove Garlic, minced finely
1 pinch Aleppo Pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
20 Small Bamboo Skewers
Marinate the quail:
- Pat the quail breasts dry and put them into a small Ziploc bag with 1 tsp fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt, and a grind of black pepper. Marinate while you’re making the tarator.
- If you’re using bamboo skewers, place them in warm water to soak now.
Make the tarator sauce:
- Soak the bread in a bowl of water for 30 seconds, squeeze dry and set aside.
- Drop the garlic into a food processor with its motor running, then drop in the nuts and process them until finely ground.
- Add the bread and lemon juice, and process until smooth.
- With the motor still running, add the oil in a slow, steady stream.
- Transfer into a bowl and stir in salt, pepper and any additional lemon juice to taste.
Make the gremolata:
- Combine the pomegranate seeds, chopped parsley, lemon zest, garlic, Aleppo, salt and pepper in a small bowl and let the flavors meld a bit.
Finish the dish:
- In a small saucepan, heat your frying oil to 350°
- Toss each quail breast in cornstarch, shake off any excess, and thread it onto two skewers.
- When all your skewers are made, fry them in batches until golden brown, about 2 minutes each, and drain on paper towels.
- Spread a schmear of tarator on each plate. Top with 1-2 quail breast skewers. Scatter with pomegranate gremolata and serve immediately.