A great twist on an Irish classic.

"This was one of the first dishes I had on the menu in Viewmount House when we opened back in 2008. Coole Swan is a gorgeous Irish liqueur and it works fantastically well with the leeks and the quail to create the ragout." – Gary O'Hanlon

Yield: Serves: 2


  • 2 whole quail (de-boned)
  • 2 slices dry cured bacon
  • 200g/7oz shredded savoy cabbage
  • 100g/4 butter
  • 1 small shallot finely diced

 For the creamed leeks

  •  300ml/10fl oz cream
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 100ml/3fl oz Coole Swan liquor


  1. Melt 50g of butter in a heavy based non -stick pan. Add the shallot and sweat without colour. Add the bacon and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, a pinch of salt and two pinches of white pepper. Cook until the cabbage is soft but still holds a bite. Spread out onto a plate or a tray and place in the fridge to cool (this can be made a day or two ahead of time)
  2. Lay the quail out flat on a chopping board skin side down. Season the entire exposed flesh with fine sea salt and a light sprinkling of pepper.
  3. Remove the cool bacon and cabbage mixture from the fridge and scoop up a small amount and squeeze into a golf ball sized shape. Place onto the quail between the two breasts (centred) then fold over one set of leg and thigh followed by the other.
  4. Turn the now stuffed quail around so that the breasts are facing upwards. Gently tuck in the edges of the bird so you almost have a ball like shape. Season the flesh with a pinch of salt and a pinch of white pepper.
  5. Place onto a piece of greaseproof paper and onto an oven-ready tray or pan and put into a pre-heated oven at 180°C for approx. 12 minutes.
  6. While the quail is cooking heat the vegetable oil. Crush the garlic and add to the oil. Sweat without colour.
  7. Cut away the green of the leek and discard. Slice the leek white, wash under cold water and drain.
  8. Add to the garlic and sweat without colour. Add three pinches of salt and two pinches of white pepper. Now add the Coole Swan liquor, bring to the boil and reduce by half. When reduced add the cream and repeat the process, reducing by half. Season to taste and set aside.
  9. Remove quail from oven leave to rest cover with tinfoil for 2 minutes. To serve, spoon the leek ragout onto a plate or deep dish bowl. Carve right through the quail in five slices or thicker if you prefer thicker slices. Arrange over the ragout.