Recipe courtesy of:
Executive Chef/Owner, Craft, New York City
Executive Chef/Owner, Gramercy Tavern, New York City
Chef, Craftsteak, Las Vegas
Tom Colicchio: “At Craft restaurant, located in New York City, we like to finish dishes like this one with a drizzle of 25- or 50-year old balsamic vinegar which has amazing sweetness and the viscosity of syrup. This type of vinegar can be very expensive, but it lasts a long time, since a few drops go a long way. For cooking or marinating (as in this recipe) such an exalted ingredient isn’t necessary: any good, barrel-aged balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy will work. You can have your butcher bone the quail for you.”
Wrap the rosemary sprigs and thyme sprigs in a piece of cheesecloth and tie it securely with a piece of string; this is called a sachet or bouquet garni.
Drain the chickpeas.
Heat the oil in a large pot on medium heat.
Add the quartered onion, celery and carrots and sweat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to colour, about 15 minutes.
Add the sachet and chickpeas and stir to combine.
Add water to cover by 2-inches and bring to a gentle simmer on medium heat.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, season with salt and pepper and cook with just an occasional bubble until the chickpeas are soft, about 1 1/2 hours.
Remove the pot from the heat and allow the chickpeas to cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the red onion and red wine vinegar in a small bowl and set aside for 15 minutes.
Drain the onion and combine it with the diced celery in a large bowl.
Add the lemon peel to the bowl.
Add the rosemary, garlic, oregano, pepperoncini and 1 cup of olive oil.
Drain the warm chickpeas and add them to the marinade.
Season with salt and pepper and add enough additional oil so the chickpeas are fully covered.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Bone the quail, leave the first wing bone of the quail breast intact, clipping the wing tips of the quail (for a neater presentation).
Combine the quail, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, rosemary and thyme in a large plastic storage bag.
Season the quail with cracked black pepper and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours but up to 2 days.
Preheat the grill on high.
Season the quail with salt then grill them, about 2 to 3 minutes per side or until cooked.
To serve, allow the chickpeas to come to room temperature.
Lift them out of the marinade with a slotted spoon into a large mixing bowl.
Add chopped parsley and lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and mash enough so that the chickpea mixture is chunky, leaving some whole.
Serve the quail drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar and garnished with fresh herb sprigs.
Serve the chickpeas on the side.