When you spend fifty to eighty days afield hunting upland birds, your freezer will eventually be filled with the delicious and tender meat of wild game birds. You can substitute any kind of game bird for this recipe, but I prefer to use quail, Mearns Quail to be exact. Their breasts require only a light thump from the heal of your hand to ensure perfect and uniform thickness throughout.
- About about 1 pound of game bird meat (preferably breast fillets)
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces crimini or porcini mushrooms, stemmed and halved
- 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Fettuccine noodles (optional)
1. Over a sheet of plastic wrap, place the breast meat side by side then lay a second piece of plastic wrap over them; gently "pound" quail meat with the heal of your hand, do not "pound out" quail tenderloins at all. Pheasant and chicken will likely need the use of the flat side of a meat mallet, until they are uniform in thickness (about 1/4-inch thick for chicken or Phez).
2. Cut your prosciutto slices into narrow strips, cutting from short side to short side.
3. Prepare your chicken stock, it is perfectly okay to have extra stock on hand, in particular if you would like to have some extra sauce.
4. Now might be a good time to put your fettuccine noodles on so they are ready if you are so inclined to serve your Marsala on a bed of noodles.
5. Put some flour in a shallow platter and season with a fair amount of salt and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly.
6. Heat your oil over medium-high flame in a large skillet. When the oil is nice and hot, dredge both sides of the cutlets in the seasoned flour, shaking off the excess. Slip the cutlets into the pan and fry on each side until golden about 2 or 3 minutes per side, turning once – do this in batches if the pieces don't fit comfortably in the pan. Remove the cutlets to a large platter in a single layer to keep warm.
7. Lower the heat to medium and add the prosciutto to the drippings in the pan, saute for 1 minute to render out some of the fat. Then, add the mushrooms and saute until they are nicely browned and their moisture has evaporated, this will take about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
8. Carefully pour the Marsala in the pan, it can flame up, and boil down for a few seconds to cook out the alcohol. Add the chicken stock and simmer to reduce the sauce slightly.
9. Once reduced, stir in the butter and return your cutlets to the pan; simmer gently for 1 minute to heat the cutlet through.
10. Serve over a bed of al dente fettuccine. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.
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