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    Cinnamon-Rubbed Quail with Pomegranate Salad

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    Cinnamon-Rubbed Quail with Pomegranate Salad

    My favourite Lebanese restaurant offers a dish of cinnamon-rubbed quail, which always reminds me of the little Cornish game hens my mother used to cook for the family on Christmas Eve. I've fused the two recipes together to create a beautiful, gently spiced starter which is just perfect for the festive season.

    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes
    • Total time: 45 minutes 45 minutes

    Serves: 6 as a starter


    50g salted butter, softened
    6 whole quail
    3 cinnamon sticks
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    ½ tsp ground cumin
    2 pomegranates
    100g bag watercress, large stalks removed
    2 tbsp roughly chopped mint


    1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, gas mark 5.
    2. Rub butter all over each quail. Put a knob of butter and half a cinnamon stick inside each. Mix the ground cinnamon and cumin and sprinkle over the quail. Put in a dish and roast for 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
    3. Roll the pomegranates on the worktop, pressing firmly with your hand to loosen the seeds. Cut each in half and bash with the back of a wooden spoon to knock out the seeds. Arrange the watercress and mint on 6 plates. Place the quail on top, scatter pomegranate seeds over each and serve.

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