Roberta Hall-McCarron’s Barbecued Quail, Mushroom Broth, Onion & Wild Leeks

Ideal for a mouth-watering autumnal dish, Roberta Hall-McCarron, chef-owner of The Little Chartroom and Eleanore, conjures edible magic with this Barbecued Quail with Mushroom Broth, Onion and Wild Leeks

Having represented Scotland in the Great British menu in 2020 and 2021, Roberta has been recognised by the National Restaurant Awards and has been included in the list of 100 Most Influential Women by CODE Hospitality.

Roberta’s restaurants combine her classic French training with a love for Scottish produce and foster a relaxed home-like atmosphere.

Serves 8

Main ingredients
For the mushroom broth:

• Button mushrooms, 1000g
• Water, 1000ml
• Dried shiitake, 10g
• Thyme, 10g
• Vinegar, 12g
• Salt, 12g

For the onion puree:
• Brown onions, 10
Butter, 50g
Salt, to taste

For the quail:
• Quail breast, 8

To garnish
• Wild leeks, 8
• Burgundy wood sorrel, 1 packet


For the mushroom broth:

  1. Keep 6 or 7 mushrooms back for garnish.
  2. Thinly slice the mushrooms.
  3. Place in a deep tray, cover with the water, vinegar and salt.
  4. Cover the tray with tin foil, place in the oven for 2 hours at 160 degrees C.
  5. Remove from the oven and pass through a fine sieve.
  6. Add the shiitake mushrooms and thyme, infuse for 10 minutes.
  7. Pass through a fine sieve and season to taste.

For the onion puree:

  1. Thinly slice the onions, melt the butter and sweat down.
  2. Add salt.
  3. Allow to slightly catch and caramelise, cook until the onions are soft.
  4. Blend to a smooth puree and pass through a sieve.

For the quail:

  1. Ask your butcher for the quail to be de-boned but with the skin left on.
  2. Season with salt on both sides and skewer length ways.
  3. Place over the barbecue (or alternatively you can pan-fry) and cook for 3 minutes on each side on the barbecue or 2 minutes on each side in the pan, ensure the skin is crispy. Allow to rest for 3 minutes.

To serve:

  1. Warm the onion puree, and place a few small dots in a bowl.
  2. Season and wilt the leek on the barbecue or in a pan.
  3. Carve the quail into 2 pieces and place into the bowl.
  4. Thinly slice the mushrooms, season lightly with olive oil, sea salt and ground pepper.
  5. Place around the quail randomly in the bowl,  add the leek and a few sprigs of sorrel.
  6. Heat the mushroom broth in a pan and pour into the bowl.

Recipe courtesy of Roberta Hall-McCarron, chef-owner of The Little Chartroom and Eleanore.

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Linkedin
Share on Pinterest

Find Something special