Roast Quail

If you’ve never had quail before, it really does taste a lot like chicken. It’s not too gamey. It’s pretty easy to cook, but a little cumbersome to eat as there’s not a lot of meat. Most of the meat is in the breast and in the legs. I had quail for the first time at a restaurant and I managed to eat it all with a knife and fork, but if you’re having it at home, you might want to use your hands to eat the leg meat. I’ll leave the particulars up to you, but do try it. It’s very tasty. If you live in Vancouver, you can purchase quail in the freezer section of Columbus Meat Market.

Ingredients for the quail:

6 quail

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

1 orange

6 cloves of garlic

2 shallots

1 bunch of parsley

Season your quail with salt and pepper inside and out. Stuff the quail with small pieces of the orange (with the peel), garlic, shallots and parsley. Brown the quail in a pan with the oil and butter before putting it in the oven. This will only take a couple of minutes on both sides. This is mostly to enhance the colour as it roasts in the oven. Of course, the browning imparts some nice flavour too. If you want to skip this step, you can. Instead, just brush the quail with the melted equal parts butter and olive oil before it goes into the oven. It will get brown nicely this way too.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Cook the quail for 15 minutes at this temperature and then lower the temperature to 400 degrees and cook for approximately 15 to 20 minutes more. The cook time will depend on your oven, the size of the quail and how well done you like your quail. It’s okay if it’s a little pink inside, but I prefer it cooked through.

Take the quail out of the oven. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes. While the quail is resting, you can put together a quick Asian style glaze to pour on top. This will be enough to coat the quail on top, but if you want to be extra generous with the glaze, you can double the ingredients listed below.

Ingredients for glaze:

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp plum sauce (optional)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp grated garlic (1 clove)

1 tsp chili paste (optional)

1 tsp sesame seeds

Combine all of the ingredients in a pan and cook on low heat for just a couple of minutes. We served the quail with couscous and roasted vegetables. You could also serve it on orzo pasta or gnocchi. It’s up to you, but I would serve it with something substantial because there’s not a lot of protein on these birds.


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