5 cm (2 in) fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped

8 quail

55 g (2 oz) butter


freshly ground black pepper

175 g (6 oz) seedless white grapes, halved

250 ml (9 fl oz / 1 cup) unsweetened white grape juice

1 teaspoon cornflour (cornstarch)

fresh flat leaf parsley, to garnish

Preheat the oven to 220 C (425 F / Gas 7). Place some chopped ginger inside each quail. In a roasting dish, heat the butter. Add the quail and turn in the butter until browned all over. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, basting occasionally, until the quail are browned and cooked through. Tilt the birds to let the pan juices run back into the pan. Transfer to a heated serving dish and keep warm.

Pour any fat from the roasting dish. Add the grapes and grape juice and place over the heat. Simmer for a few minutes, scraping up the sediment, until the grapes are warm. In a bowl, blend the cornflour (cornstarch) with a little cold water and stir into the sauce. Simmer until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the grapes round the quail and pour the sauce round. Serve with bulgar wheat or rice, garnished with flat leaf parsley.

Serves 4.

area : North Africa

course : poultry dish

source : The Book of North African Cooking / Lesley Mackley