Feasting On “Babette’s Feast” Quail In Puff Pastry! My Recipe For A Classic Dinner And A Movie!

“Dinner And A Movie” Goes For A “Feast”!

I love food and I love film, so why not combine the two?

My latest installment in my “dinner and a movie” series heads overseas for a classic preparation: Quail in puff pastry – which is a delicious recipe from a terrific, Oscar winning film:

Babette’s Feast!

This classic 1987 Danish movie won the Academy Award for best Foreign Language film – but don’t worry, its love of food is universal!

“Babette’s Feast” was based on a short story by Isak Dinesen, who also wrote “Out Of Africa.” It tells the story of two sisters who live in an isolated village with their father. When french refugee Babette arrives to work for them, she transforms their lives with a magical meal.

Check out the movie trailer:

This movie is infused with a love of food and life, and it’s a must-see for anyone who enjoys “dinner in a movie”. Thanks to the terrific magazine and website Saveur, here is the recipe for Quail in puff pastry!

Babette’s Cailles en Sarcophage

1 pound frozen puff pastry, defrosted 20 minutes at room temperature
4 quails, boned
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
12 ounces foie gras, of which is cut across in 8 slices, the rest cut into 2/3- inch cubes
1 1-ounce black truffle, sliced as thinly as possible, at least 12 slices
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup demi-glace (see note)
16 black figs, quartered

1.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut 4 5-inch rounds from the pastry. Make a 3-inch circle in the center of each round, being careful not to cut to the bottom of the dough. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 22 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Carefully lift out the 3-inch round from the center to create a nest with a top. Set aside to cool.

2.Raise the oven to 450 degrees. Season the inside of the quails with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Lay 1 slice of foie gras in each quail cavity followed by 3 truffle slices and top with the remaining foie gras. Truss the quails. Season the outsides with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Melt the butter in an ovenproof skillet over high heat. Sear the quails, 20 to 30 seconds per side. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Turn the quails and roast for 5 minutes more. Remove and keep warm in a covered dish.

3.Place the skillet over high heat on top of the stove. Pour in the wine and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 1 minute. Pour in the stock and demi-glace and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the figs and simmer for 1 minute. Stir in the 1/4- inch cubes of foie gras and simmer, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the sauce is reduced to 2/3 cup. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper to taste.

4.To serve, put each quail in a pastry nest. Drizzle with sauce, top with the pastry round and surround with the figs.


I love making food that I saw in a movie, like this one by Julia Child:

Yes, this Boeuf Bourguignon dish from the film “Julie & Julia” is also fun to make, see it here:

Serious film buffs may know the legendary Actor Vincent Price, but did you know he was a Gourmand as well?

He and his wife collected some of the world’s best recipes and released them in terrific cookbooks like this one – and I cooked form it!

You can see my entire Vincent Price “dinner and a movie” by clicking on my story here:

If you enjoy these posts, why not subscribe and never miss out? It’s easy, and there are NO ads of any kind, just stuff I like…click on the main page and “follow” me on the upper right…


If you like the story, share it with friends on social media! Thanks!

Let me know if you’ve made any puff pastry dishes like Babette!

Categories: 70's Cinema, Art, Books / Media, cookbooks, Cult Movies, Food, food blog, Great Films, Independent Cinema, Movies, Pop Culture, Recipes

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11 replies

  1. Ooo, how perfectly delicious!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you, I love food and films and this was a great one!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. How odd that Saveur used quail. In the movie, it’s ortolan — small birds that were eaten whole, and now illegal in France. They could be seen in the cages when Babette’s supplies were delivered.
    Love your Blog, John!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Looks delicious, John …I love quail but not foie gras…not seen the film though but it sounds like one to watch 🙂 x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You hit on one of my all-time favourite films, John. I saw it at the cinema, bought the VHS, then the DVD. I don’t think it has ever been on TV here though.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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