Chinese five spice quail legs with beetroot and plum sauce

Ingredients (serves four)

Five spice quail legs

  • quail legs1 pack of 20 quails legs
  • 2tbsp dark soy
  • 20g freshly grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 15g Chinese five spice
  • Goose fat (depending on the tray you are using, enough to cover the quails legs)

Beetroot carpaccio

  • 1 golden beetroot
  • 1 chioggia (candy stripe) beetroot
  • 1 beetroot
  • 75ml white wine vinegar
  • 75ml water
  • 1tbsp Fleur de Sel de Carmargue (salt flakes)
  • 2tbsp honey
  • 3 star anise
  • 1tsp coriander seeds (crushed)

Beetroot and plum sauce

  • 2 beetroot
  • 10 plums (halved and de-stoned)
  • 1tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 40g red onion (finely chopped)
  • 10g freshly grated ginger
  • 1 red chilli (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 20g caster sugar
  • 80ml red wine
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 50g unsalted butter

To dress

  • 1 friseé fine (curly endive/the blush leaf finely picked)
  • Micro thai basil cress


Five spice quail legs

  1. Preheat an oven to 120°C. Combine the quail legs with the soy sauce, ginger, garlic and Chinese five spice in a deep tray, ensuring the quail legs are evenly covered with the spices.
  2. Pour goose fat over the quail legs until completely covered, then place in the preheated oven and cook for 2 hours.
  3. When cooked, remove the quail legs from the goose fat and leave to cool. When ready to serve, the legs can either be reheated in a hot frying pan or under a grill for two minutes until the skin is crisp.

Carpaccio of mixed beetroot

  1. Prepare the pickling juice by combining the white wine vinegar, water, salt, honey, star anise and crushed coriander seeds in a small pan. Bring to the boil and as soon as this happens, take off the heat and split the juice between three small containers. Leave to cool before adding the beetroot.
  2. For the carpaccio, peel and slice the beetroot very thinly on a mandolin. Use a pastry cutter on the stacks of sliced beetroot to ensure a consistent size and shape. When this is done, place each stack of beetroot slices in its own container of pickling juice and leave for a couple of hours, or preferably overnight, in a refrigerator.

Spiced beetroot and plum sauce

  1. Preheat an oven to 200°C, wrapping the beetroots in foil, then roast in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, warm the rapeseed oil in a medium sized pan and add the finely chopped red onion, garlic, chilli and ginger. Sweat the mixture off until the onion softens, being careful not to brown the ingredients.
  3. Add the plums and turn up the heat. Continue to sweat off until the plum juice is starting to reduce then add the sugar, soy sauce and red wine, bringing to a simmer.
  4. When the beetroot is cooked, take out of the foil and rub off the skin. Chop the cooked beetroot into small chunks and add to the plum mixture before simmering for a further five minutes.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a food processor with the butter and purée. If the mixture is stiff, add a little water to thin it. Finally, pass the mixture through a fine chinois/sieve for a smooth glossy appearance.
  6. To build the dish, place one of each of the mixed pickled beetroot slices on the plate. Place some of the picked friseé on the slices then one of the Chinese five spiced quail legs on top of the lettuce.
  7. Finish with a sprig of micro Thai basil cress on each leg and serve with the spiced beetroot and plum sauce on the side.