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Quail With Artichokes - (Quaglie Coi Carciofi)

8 quails -- cleaned, and glove-boned
1 cup Balsamic-Honey Marinade -- (see below)
Salt -- to taste
Freshly-ground black pepper -- to taste
8 slices prosciutto
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup dry red wine
8 artichokes -- tough outer leaves
and choke removed, cut into wedges
and held in acidulated water
2 garlic cloves -- crushed flat

Balsamic-Honey Marinade:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon black peppercorns

Balsamic-Honey Marinade: In a bowl large enough to hold both the marinade and the quail, mix all the ingredients together. (Makes 1 cup)

Marinate quail in marinade for 1 to 2 hours.

Season each quail inside and out with salt and pepper and wrap each one in a slice of prosciutto, securing with toothpicks.

In a 14- to 16-inch saute pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add the quails, a few at a time, and brown over high heat, adding some of the wine with each batch of quails.

When the last batch is browned, return all to the pan and add the artichokes and garlic. Add more wine if necessary to maintain moisture in the pan, and cook, covered until the quails and artichokes are tender.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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