Atlanta Restaurant Scene

Kevin Rathbun is Atlanta’s chef at Taste of the NFL on Super Bowl Eve

You think the Super Bowl is just a sports smack down? Think again.

On Super Bowl Eve, Atlanta chef Kevin Rathbun will try to one-up Boston chef Steve DiFillippo at Taste of the NFL festivities in Houston.

The two chefs are among the nearly three dozen chefs from around the country cooking for players, celebrities and fans at Party With a Purpose, the NFL’s strolling wine and food fundraiser held annually on Super Bowl Eve in the host city.

The event features a chef from each NFL city serving their signature dish alongside a current or alumni NFL player.

Rathbun, the face behind Atlanta restaurants Rathbun’s, Kevin Rathbun Steak and Krog Bar, will be preparing a dish of roasted quail, parsnips, onion soubise and cranberry agrodolce. He is paired with Falcons alum Chris Draft, who retired from the NFL in 2011.

Taste of the NFL is a nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness and funds for hunger relief organizations in the 32 NFL cities. Since its inception, it has raised more than $25 million, providing more than 2o0 million meals.

Don’t have tickets to this food fete? Rathbun provided his recipe so you can make the dish at home.

Kevin Rathbun’s Parsnip Stuffed Manchester Farms Quail With Onion Soubise and Cranberry Agrodolce

For the quail:

4 boneless quail

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

For the parsnip stuffing:

2 cups parsnips, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

2 tablespoons crumbled Cana De Cabra, or other aged goat cheese

For the onion soubise:

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 cup heavy cream

2 cloves garlic

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

For the agrodolce:

1/2 cup fresh cranberries

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1/2 cup cranberry juice

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Completely trim the quail of all bones, keeping the skin intact. Set aside.

Prepare the parsnip stuffing: In a small stainless bowl, toss diced parsnips, olive oil, salt and pepper, transfer to a small sheet tray and roast in the oven 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente. Transfer back to a bowl and add the thyme and goat cheese. Chill in refrigerator.

Reduce the heat to 400 degrees.

Prepare the onion soubise: In a small saucepot on very low heat, add onions, cream and garlic, simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until onions and garlic are soft. Transfer to a blender, blend until smooth. Add the lemon juice and salt. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Prepare the agrodolce: In a small saucepan, add the cranberries, sugar, cranberry juice and vinegar. Simmer until cranberries have broken down, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Pass the cranberry puree through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Stir in the salt. Set aside.

Separate the parsnip mixture into 4 equal portions, stuff each quail with the parsnip mixture. Season the quail with salt and pepper.

In a Teflon pan, add grapeseed oil and heat. Place the quail breast-side down and sear until brown, about 2 minutes. Turn over and sear the opposite side for 2 minutes. Transfer to the 400-degree oven and roast 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a plate. Let rest 5 minutes.

Cut the quail in half and invert cut-side up. Trim the ends so the quail stands straight up.

On each of 4 serving plates, place 2 tablespoons of the onion soubise, making a circle. Place quail on top of the soubise, and spoon the cranberry agrodolce on top of quail and a little around the plate. Serves: 4

Per serving: 435 calories (percent of calories from fat, 56), 29 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 34 grams fat (16 grams saturated), 151 milligrams cholesterol, 1,172 milligrams sodium.


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About the Author

Ligaya Figueras joined the AJC as its food and dining editor in 2015.