This section is from the book "The Memorandum Cookery Book", by Countess Morphy. Also available from Amazon: The Memorandum Cookery Book.
This is a novel and very pleasant way of serving quails and the taste of braised lettuce seems to blend particularly well with these delicate little birds.
Quails, 4 or 5 lettuces, 1 large carrot, 1 onion, butter, a little stock or water, a few rashers of bacon, mixed herbs, salt and pepper.
Blanch the lettuces in boiling salted water for 5 or 6 minutes, then drain them thoroughly of all water. Line the bottom of a saucepan with the rashers— the saucepan should not be too large, as too much liquid is then required—over the rashers, put the onion and carrot sliced, the mixed herbs, and finally the lettuce, seasoning well with salt and pepper. Put in about 1 oz. of butter, and cook slowly till the lettuces are just beginning to brown slightly. Then just barely cover them with a littie stock or water, cover closely and put in the oven, which must not be too hot. They should simmer slowly for at least an hour. Roast the quails in a brisk oven for 8 or 10 minutes. Half an hour before serving, place the quails over the lettuce and let them simmer for the remaining half-hour. Remove the quails from the casserole, put the lettuce neatly on a hot dish and place the quails over them. Strain the gravy, and pour it over the birds and the lettuce.