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Honey-glazed Quail with a Five-spice Marinade

Although the quail is a relatively small bird - 115 - 150 g (4 - 5 oz) - it is surprisingly meaty. One bird is usually quite sufficient for one serving.

ingredients

serves 4
4 oven-ready quails
2 pieces star anise
10 ml (2 tsp) ground cinnamon
10 ml (2 tsp) fennel seeds
10 ml (2 tsp) ground Szechuan or Chinese pepper
pinch of ground cloves
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
60 ml (4 tbsp) clear honey
30 ml (2 tbsp) dark soy sauce
2 spring onions, roughly chopped, finely shredded
rind of 1 mandarin orange or satsuma and radish and carrot "flowers", to garnish
banana leaves, to serve

method

1. Remove the backbones from the quails by cutting down either side with a pair of kitchen scissors.

2. Flatten the birds with the palm of your hand and secure each one with two bamboo skewers.

3. Grind together the star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds, pepper and cloves in a mortar with a pestle. Add the onion, garlic, honey and soy sauce and combine well.

4. Place the quails on a flat dish, cover with the spice mixture and set aside to marinate for at least 8 hours.

5. Cook the quails under a preheated grill or on a barbecue for 7 - 8 minutes on each side, basting from time to time with the marinade.

6. Arrange the quails on a bed of banana leaves and garnish with the spring onion, orange rind and radish and carrrot "flowers".

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