Cooking with rum is not unfamiliar to Dominicans, totally the opposite actually. Some of the dishes that may be cooked with rum are rabo encendido and chivo liniero (each family has its own recipe and lore about these dishes).
With a wide variety of world-class rum available at reasonable prices here, it is no surprise that we have found several ways of incorporating it into our cuisine.
Quail eggs are a lot more common than quail meat in the DR, but it’s not rare to find it in local supermarkets, even if we treat it as something to serve for special occasions. When I found it in our “neighborhood” supermarket I decided to treat my husband to a dish that includes one of his favorite things about our country: rum.
Adding apples was my idea. Rum-based sauce has a certain degree of bitterness that I dislike, and the apples tame that. I’m not sure what my husband liked more, the rum or the apples. Try it yourself and let me know what you think.
I don’t recommend this dish for children for the obvious reason that children should stay away from alcohol, but also because quails have many very small bones that can be a choking hazard for kids. Consider this a special “grown-ups” dish.
This is a dish inspired by the custom of adding rum to some dishes in the Dominican Republic.
- 12 quails
- 3 tablespoons of oil
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1/3 cup of rum
- 12 spring onion bulbs, peeled
- 3 sprigs of curly parsley, chopped finely
- 2 fuji apples cut into thin wedges
- Juice of 1 lime
- Rub the quails with the lime juice.
- Stuff the quails with the spring onions bulbs (save the leaves for another dish).
- Season the quails with a tablespoon of salt, a teaspoon of pepper and the parsley. Let it rest in the fridge for two hours.
- Heat the oil in a heavy-bottom pot. Add the sugar and let it heat until it browns.
- Add the quails (careful with splatters!), stir until they are golden brown all over.
- Add half a cup of water and cook over medium heat until almost all the liquid has evaporated. Turn the quails and add another half cup of water.
- Repeat until the quails are tender.
- Add the rum and apple and cook over low heat until the apples are somewhat soft but whole and you still have about 3/4 cup of sauce left.
- Serve with oven-fried potatoes.
Not all varieties of apples are good for cooking: Fuji is one of my favorites for this purpose.