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?

Throughout 2023, I am going to be sharing special “dinner and a movie” stories that will take a recipe from a movie for you to make while enjoying the film!

Our first installment heads overseas for a classic preparation: “Quail In Puff Pastry” – which is a delicious recipe from this 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:

Regular readers know that last year I undertook a “52 In 22” cooking challenge – 52 different recipes over 52 weeks in 2022 – and it all began with Price!

Yes, I used his cookbook to make this wonderful sole dish to kick off a delicious 2022 – click here for the recipe:

He’s not the only iconic Actor I have cooked with:

That’s right, I cooked Stanley Tucci’s family Cacciatore recipe – click here for the recipe and see how I did!

And the finale of the year was THIS:

It was Tucci’s family “Timpano” recipe – and this is just one aspect of the dish – the flip!

If you want to impress a HUGE group of people, try making this “pasta cake!”

Here’s the recipe and the entire process!

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: 52 In 22!, Bite Eat Swallow, Bite! Eat! Repeat!, Books / Media, Cookbooks, Eat This!, Fine Dining, Food, Food Pictures, Food Porn, Movies, Recipes, Wacky Food, World's Wildest Food

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4 replies

  1. John, that is one of my favourite films of all-time, and almost made my top ten. Such a wonderful, heart-warming story, and beautifully filmed and acted.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. Hi John, I don’t know this movie but it sounds interesting. An intriguing recipe – I’m not sure whether I could find quail or it I’d want to eat them if I did, but it is a great recipe to read and see presented.


  1. Feasting On “Babette’s Feast” Quail In Puff Pastry! My Recipe For A Classic “Dinner And A Movie”! — Bite! Eat! Repeat! – johnrieber

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