Quails with black figs
8 quails already cleaned and singed
10 small ripe black figs
8 thick bacon rashers
2 chicken livers
100 gr. butter
1 glass of grappa (Italian eau de vie)
Wash the quails with care, season with salt and pepper inside and out and leave to stand on a cloth. Remove the hard stalk from the black figs, chop roughly and mix in with the minced livers, seasoning with a pinch of salt and pepper. Stuff the quails with this mixture, adding a juniper berry to each one and seal with the bacon, wrapping it lengthwise around the bird. If necessary, use toothpicks to secure the bacon, then place the quails in a meat tin with flakes of butter. Take care to fix the birds' wings beneath them to avoid their working free during cooking, otherwise they will look rather uninviting! Bake in a hot oven for at least half an hour, basting with a little stock which should be replaced with grappa towards the end. When cooked, place the quails on a serving dish garnished with small fig leaves. Add a little flour and two tablespoons of grappa to the cooking juices in the pan and heat quickly. Cover the quails with plenty of this gravy and you will find that the end result is delicious, especially in September, when the figs are at their very best.