Episode 106 - Texas Trinity

Grilled Quail with Pear Salsa and Blue Cheese Farrotto

Grilled Quail with Pear Salsa and Blue Cheese Farrotto

Other Recipes from Planet Barbecue Episode 106 – Texas Trinity

Filmed with guest, Chef Jason Dady

I first met Jason Dady at the award-winning Two Bros Barbecue Market when I was writing Project Smoke. I was hooked at the first bite. Here was a classically trained chef who could smoke and grill like the best of them, turning out briskets of quivering succulence and ribs so sweet and tender, they all but ate themselves. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention a culinary empire that includes an Italian restaurant, a steakhouse, a popular catering operation, and TV appearances too numerous to mention.) He’s here today to show us an essential Texas game bird often overlooked in our rush to chow down on brisket—but that very much belongs to the barbecue trinity. I give you grilled quail with pear salsa and blue cheese farrotto.


Grilled Quail with Pear Salsa and Blue Cheese Farrotto


For the salsa:

  • One ripe red pear, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
  • One red onion, peeled and sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Sherry vinegar
  • Hot red chili flakes, to taste

For the guava glaze:

  • 3/4 cup cubed guava paste
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup guava nectar, or more if needed

For the quail:

  • 4 quail, dressed and spatchcocked
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Basil oil, for garnish (optional)

Recipe Steps

1: Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to medium-high. Brush and oil the grill grate. Toss the pear and onion slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the pear and onion slices on the grill grate and grill until lightly charred, turning with tongs, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Let cool, then dice the fruit and onion and place in a bowl. Add the cilantro, a splash each of olive oil and sherry vinegar to taste, and hot red chili flakes, also to taste. Cover and set aside.

2: Make the glaze: Put the guava paste, honey, and enough nectar to make the glaze pourable in a blender jar or food processor. Puree, adding more nectar if desired. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

3: Scald the cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the farro and heat gently. Turn off the heat. Stir in the blue cheese and season with salt (be careful, as the cheese is salty), pepper, and fresh herbs. Keep warm.

4: Grill the quail: Brush and oil the grill grate a second time. Arrange the quail on the grate, skin side down. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes, watching for flare-ups. (Lift them with tongs to prevent sticking to the grill grate.) Flip, then apply the guava glaze. Flip once or twice after 30 seconds, applying more glaze to the birds until done to your liking. (They don’t take long to cook.)

5: Spoon the farrotto down the center of a platter or plates and arrange the quail on top. Top with the salsa. Drizzle with basil oil, if desired.

Recipe Tips

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Steven Raichlen’s Planet Barbecue is a production of Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2023 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein