Recipe by Chef Michael Reining of The Radio Kitchen. This is one of the dishes I created for the House of Sandeman Contest. It is meant to be paired with the Sandeman Don Fino Sherry. To learn about the fine ports and sherry's from the House of Sandeman, check out their website at www.sandeman.com.
To make the brine and smoke the quail:
Combine soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic, salt and pepper, marinate the birds in brine for 1 hour.
Be sure and spoon the mixture into the birds cavity several times.
Smoke in stovetop smoker. 1 tablespoon of alder and 1 tablespoon of maple. Place chips in large pan, place drip tray over the wood chips, then place food rack on top and arrange the birds. Start cooking with lid off. When the wood begins to smolder, close lid and start cooking time.
Smoke over medium heat for 25 minutes per pound. Allow birds to cool. Remove the breast portion from the rest of the bird. Make a stock with the remaining legs and wings.
To make the tapenade:
In a food processor, combine all the ingredients. Pulse to create a chunky puree.
Can be held in refrigeration for a few days.
To make the croutons:
Slice the bread (baguette prefered) 1/2" thin. Brush with olive oil and place in a single layer on sheet pan. Place in oven at 375F until crisp, about 8 minutes.
Spread 1/4" layer of tapenade over crouton, top with a 1/2" thin slice of quail breast. Garnish with a couple of julliened roasted red pepper pieces.