Executive Chef Cris Vazquez Salad

The Texas Panhandle - Pecan-Smoked, Molasses-Glazed Quail with Locally Grown Lollo Rosso & Red Oak Greens, Watermelon Radishes, Texas Heirloom Tomatoes, Goat Cheese, Toasted Pine Nuts and Sherry Vinagrette

This dish serves 8, takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to prep and 15 minutes to cook.

Ingredients for the Quail

8 each semiboneless whole quail
½ gallon water
¼ cup kosher salt
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 each garlic clove, crushed
2 each shallot, sliced
8 each thyme sprigs
8 each parsley sprigs


  1. Combine water, salt, brown sugar, garlic, shallot, thyme and parsley in sauce pot. 
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. 
  3. Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and cool. 
  4. After the brine is cooled, add the quail and allow it to soak for at least 4 hours, but not more than 6 hours. 
  5. Remove quail from brine and dry with clean paper towel.
  6. Smoke over pecan wood at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes until done.
  7. Remove from smoker and brush with molasses glaze, then set it aside to put on salad.

Ingredients for the Molasses Glaze

½ Cup molasses
¼ Cup ketchup
¼ Cup apple cider vinegar


  1. Combine these three ingredients, mix well and set aside for later

Ingredients for Sherry Vinaigrette

3 ounces sherry vinegar
2 ounces Dijon mustard
1 ounces honey
2 ounces water
1 ounces olive oil
Salt and pepper


  1. In a small bowl whisk together first five ingredients and salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.

Ingredients for the Salad

3 each heads baby lollo rosso lettuce
3 each heads baby red oak lettuce
1 each watermelon radish, sliced thin and halved
4 ounces fresh local goat cheese
2 ounces toasted pine nuts
2 each large Texas heirloom tomatoes cut in irregular sizes and shape
1 pint assorted Texas baby heirloom tomatoes


  1. Clean, wash, dry and chop baby lettuce. 
  2. Toss lettuce with enough sherry vinaigrette to lightly coat; be careful not to overdress the lettuce. 
  3. Top lettuce with radish, crumbled goat cheese, toasted pine nuts and tomatoes, then couple it with a half quail and place on top of salad.