4 quail, dressed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 sprigs tarragon
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
4-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8-10 fresh morels or dried morels soaked in warm water and drained
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups fresh or frozen peas
3 scallions, white parts and 2 inches of green tops, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2 Rinse the quail and dry thoroughly. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Stuff the cavity of each quail with a spring of tarragon.
3 Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-based saute pan until the butter stops bubbling. Add the quail, breast side down, and cook until golden brown. Turn and cook on the other side until golden brown.
4 Place the pan in the oven and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes or until the quail is just cooked through. Remove the quail from the pan and place on an oven-proof platter. Keep warm while making the risotto.
5 Heat the stock and white wine in a small saucepan until it boils. Turn off the heat.
6 Add the onion, garlic and morels to the pan in which the quails were cooked. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat the rice with the vegetables.
7 Add 1 cup of warm broth to the pan and stir gently until most of the liquid is absorbed. add another cup of broth and continue to stir until absorbed. Continue cooking the rice in this way until about 3-4 cups of stock have been used. Season the rice with salt to taste.
8 Add the peas and scallions and 1 cup of broth to the pan. Stir until the broth has been absorbed. Taste the rice. If it is still quite hard, add more broth until the rice is just barely tender. Add 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Add the lemon zest and stir to continue.
To serve, divide the rice among warm pasta bowls. Place a quail on top of the rice and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
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