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Pan Seared Quail With Roasted Red Bell Pepper Puree

4 whole quail -- cleaned
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon shallot -- chopped fine
2 garlic cloves -- chopped fine
2 small thyme sprigs -- leaves only
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes (adjust heat to your desire)
4 red bell peppers -- roasted, skinned, and cleaned
2 tablespoons chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste
2 handfuls watercress

Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a large skillet. Season quail with salt and pepper and place in pan. Brown quail on both sides about 4 to 5 minutes each. When they are golden brown, remove pan from stovetop and place into preheated oven at 350 degrees for approximately 8 to 10 minutes.

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Sauté shallots for about 1 minute. Add garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes. Sauté about 1 more minute. Add roasted red bell peppers and parsley. Stir and remove from heat. Puree in a blender or kitchen processor. Season with salt and pepper.

Remove quail from oven. Serve over a bed of watercress accompanied by the roasted pepper puree.




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