Binging with Babish: Cailles en Sarchophage from Babette’s Feast
Hey, what’s up guys? Welcome back to “Binging With Babish”. Where this week, we’re delving into the old-world opulence that is, “Cailles en Sarchophage”, or “Quail in Sarcophagus”, ugh… But hey, no matter how gruesome the name of the recipe, I’m always excited to buy some black truffles, And to use up the rest of the homemade puff pastry I made last week. How convenient is that? Start by cutting four or five-inch rounds out of one sheet of puff pastry Placing them onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Rolling out some more puff pastry, cutting the same size rounds, And then using a pastry cutter to cut a one-inch border, for our sarcophaguses, S- Sarcophagi, for once it’s easier to say in French. Brush the edges of the pastry rounds with egg, to act as a sort of glue. Pre-heat your oven to 425°(F, or 218°C), you want to do that as late as possible. So you don’t heat up the room and start melting the butter in your puff pastry. Top with the pastry borders and brush the whole thing down with more egg. Then we’re gonna put a sheet of parchment paper on top. This is going to help the pastry rise more evenly. Halfway through baking, about 12 minutes, remove the parchment paper so our little guys can brown. Now it’s time to snip open our partially deboned quail. These quails have been deboned except for the legs and wings. We’re gonna stuff each with a little bit of foie gras. And then we’re gonna flank the foie gras with thin slices of black truffle. Normally I’d use a truffle shaver, but Babette was using a knife. So I’m just, gonna try to cut them as thin as possible. Place them on each side like so and don’t forget to season your birds, inside and out, with salt and pepper. The last thing we want these very expensive ingredients to be, is bland. Now it’s time to wrap up our little birdies and gently tuck them into their… caskets. Run a paring knife around the inside edge of the pastry, Removing the lid and creating the little quail sarcophagus. Yes, these birds that ended up being a little bit too big for my pastry. But if you think that I’m gonna make a new batch of puff pastry from scratch, then you’re a very very silly person. Rub the birds down with a little bit of olive oil and place in a 425°F (218°C) oven for about 25 minutes. In the meantime, we’re going to make the fig sauce. Start by sautéing a finely chopped shallot in a little bit of olive oil over medium-low heat until soft and translucent.
(Technically, this is sweating not sautéing.) Crank up the heat, add some quartered figs, and sauté for 1 minute before deglazing with a few tablespoons of Madeira wine. Get your fire extinguisher ready, crank the heat, throw in some cognac, and ignite. I don’t get to have massive fires on this show often enough. Shake the pan until you’re very very very VERY sure that all the flames are out. Alcohol flames can be invisible sometimes, so be careful. We’re gonna throw in a solid three-quarters of a cup of demi-glace. I have some of this homemade stuff that I’ve frozen. Season with salt and pepper to taste. And when I say to taste, I mean, give it a taste. You should always taste your food as you cook it and season sauces right at the end. Let’s get our slightly oversized birds out of the oven, And let them rest for about five minutes before plating up and saucing. Also, I threw the pastry tops in the oven in the last few minutes of cooking just to crisp them up a little bit. Scatter the figs and sauce around the pastry sarcophagus, and finally it’s time to dig in. Now, I need to say, in full honesty, This was one of those dishes that just did not live up to the hype. It costed like a hundred dollars to make two of these things And, to me, it seemed like a waste of truffles and foie gras. But I’m not in 18th century Denmark so… Hey guys, so if you’re looking for a slightly easier, significantly less expensive, version of this recipe. Check out my book, “Eat What You Watch: a Cookbook for Movie Lovers”, in stores now. Along with a slightly less snooty “Cailles en Sarchophage”, It has some fan favorite recipes, some beautiful photography, And of course, my snarky observations on food and film. It literally just hit bookshelves today, I hope you guys check it out.