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Szechuan Quail with Blueberry & Beluga Lentil Salad

Szechuan Quail with Blueberry & Beluga Lentil Salad

Preparation time
20 Mins
Cooking time
1 hour 15 mins

The ancient soils of the Hunter Valley have birthed many a great Australian wine, including some of the world’s best Shiraz. Situated at the base of the Brokenback Range in the forecourt of Keith Tulloch Wines, Muse Kitchen’s ever-evolving menu showcases the region’s best produce. The peppery heat of this inspired quail dish from Chef Josh Gregory finds its perfect partner in the spicy notes of a classic Keith Tulloch Shiraz.


4 bone-in quail

20g Szechuan pepper

40g sea salt


250g caster sugar

100g water

1 lemon, juiced

50g red wine vinegar

1 punnet of blueberries


30g butter

20ml oil

1 brown onion, finely diced

4 cloves garlic, crushed

250g beluga lentils

1 bunch thyme

30ml rice wine vinegar

10ml white soy

750ml chicken stock


1 punnet blueberries


Micro herbs

Baby spinach leaves


1.    For the quail: Spatchcock the quail by removing the wingtips with a sharp knife. Cut through the spine on either side to remove, being careful not to cut into the breast meat. Press the bird flat with the palm of your hand, or ask your butcher to do this for you. Combine the Szechuan pepper with the salt in a bowl.  

2.    For the blueberry caramel: Combine the sugar, water and lemon juice together in a saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and boil without stirring, until syrup is a golden toffee colour. Remove from heat, and add vinegar (be careful, as it will spit). Add the blueberries and allow them to steep. Set aside to cool.   

3.    For the beluga lentils: Heat butter and oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add onion and garlic, cook for 2-3 minutes or until soft but not coloured. Add the thyme and the lentils, continue sweating until the thyme is fragrant. Add chicken stock. Cook lentils for approximately 35 minutes or until all the stock is absorbed. Add vinegar and soy sauce. Season generously with pepper, and gently with salt.  

4.    For the charred blueberry: Heat your barbeque or char-grill on a medium-high heat, cook for 5 minutes. Set aside.

5.    Heat your char-grill to medium-high. Season quail generously with Szechuan pepper mix and grill skin side down for 3-4 minutes. Turn and brush with the blueberry caramel, cook for one more minute and then rest. Brush again with the warm glaze.  

6.    To serve: Plate a small mound of warm lentils on a plate with baby spinach leaves and charred blueberry. Place quail on top, drizzle with a little more caramel, garnish with micro herbs and serve.

Note: Quails are now readily available at most supermarkets. Look for plump birds with a little covering of fat beneath the breast.


Wine Match

Keith Tulloch Vanguard Shiraz 2018

Preparation time
20 Mins
Cooking time
1 hour 15 mins


Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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