For Creamed Corn
6 ears corn, shucked
6 oz. thick-sliced bacon (4-5 slices), cut crosswise into 1/8-inch-wide strips
1 large bunch scallions
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 whole (6- to 8-oz.) jumbo quail, rinsed and patted dry
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1/2 cup whole milk
about 2 1/2 cups corn or canola oil for frying
Accompaniment: lemon wedges
Make the Creamed Corn: Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of water to a boil. Add corn and simmer for 4 minutes. With tongs, transfer corn to a large bowl of ice and cold water to stop the cooking. When cool enough to handle, drain and cut kernels from cobs.
Cook bacon in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
Thinly slice enough scallions to measure 1 cup.
Combine cream, water, lemon juice, bacon, sliced scallions, and butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan, bring to a simmer, and simmer, stirring, for 1 minute. Add corn and salt and pepper to taste and cook until liquid is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.
Cook the Quail: With poultry shears or a sharp knife, cut off necks and first 2 wing joints of each quail and discard. Cut out and discard backbones. Halve each quail lengthwise through breast and cut off legs.
Stir together flour, salt, pepper, and cayenne (if using) in a shallow bowl. Pour milk into another shallow bowl.
Heat 1/2 inch oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Meanwhile, working with one piece at a time, dip quail in milk, letting excess drip off, then dredge in flour mixture, shake off excess, and place on a tray. Using tongs, put half of pieces, skin sides down, into hot oil. Fry quail, turning several times, until golden brown and just cooked through, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to paper towels to drain and keep warm, covered. Reheat oil and fry remaining quail in same manner. Reheat corn over low heat if necessary.
Serve quail with creamed corn and lemon wedges.
bacon recipe courtesy of: The Gourmet Cookbook edited by Ruth Reichl. Pages 403-404. Houghton Mifflin, 2004