Roasted Quail

Roasted Quail

Roasted Quail with Wild Rice Stuffing and Blackberry Reduction

Roasted Quail on Plate with Napkin

 

My grandfather was a member of The Audubon Society way back in the day. He loved birds, but he was also an avid quail hunter. I learned to love quail from him and my dad. Some folks are a little unsure about eating quail. These small, plump birds are flavorful without a strong game taste. You can buy sustainable, farm raised quail in most grocery stores. They are great for romantic dinners and special occasions. In fact, for the last 10 years or so, this roasted quail dish has been my traditional Christmas dinner. I do this to honor my grandfather, and because I just love these little game birds.

 

The Wild Rice

The first part of this recipe involves cooking the rice. The nuttiness of the rice compliments the gamey quail. Cook the wild rice according to the package directions, but use chicken stock instead of water. By all means use some of the Chicken Stock that we made a few weeks back. While the rice is cooking, saute the garlic, mushrooms, scallions and pecans. You can pretty much use any type of mushroom you like. You are going to need to add a little more stock after cooking the rice. This will keep it from drying out in the oven.

 

Blackberry Reduction Sauce

This sauce is fantastic! It cuts some of the richness, and adds a tangy sweetness to the dish. First you need some chicken demi-glace. No problem. Take a cup of that chicken stock, and reduce it by about two thirds by simmering it. If you do this with store bought stock, make sure it’s salt free. You don’t need much, so you may have some left over for another use. You can also reconstitute whats left back into stock by adding a little water. When making the sauce you want the blackberries to break down. Cook the sauce down so that the final product is like a syrup. When finished cooking, strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer.

 

 

Roasted Quail with Knife and Fork

Roasting Quail

There is a lot of talk on the Internet about brining birds. Yes, the skin of your bird will be crisper, but I believe that you end up sacrificing flavor. So, whether it’s turkey, chicken or quail, I just don’t do it. Start the roasting process with room temperature quail. Let them sit out for a bit before starting. Unless your quail have been boned by a butcher, you will need to truss them. This will allow for more even cooking. Basically, you are securing the wings and legs to the rest of the bird. But, instead of me trying to explain it here, check out this short clip from the good folks at Purdue Chicken, Use a roasting pan, but put a wire rack in the pan, so that air can circulate around the quail. Lots of recipes suggest roasting at a high temperature. However, it is very easy to overcook these little guys. You want an internal temperature of about 150 degrees, and the meat will be a little pink. Not to worry, it’s done. If you overcook it, the quail will be really dry.

 

Eating Roasted Quail – The Hardest Part

Some additional serving suggestions might include creamed spinach, grits or risotto. Go wild, and use your imagination. You will have more rice than you need for this recipe, but man does it ever make a great omelet! While you can carve the breast meat with a knife and fork, the legs and wings are a little harder. This is where you get to go all primal! Tear the legs and wings off, and eat them with your fingers! Just do it first, so that your guests will know that it’s OK. And have plenty of napkins on hand. I hope you enjoy this dish, as much as I do, and Merry Christmas from Southern Feast, and Ezri.

Roasted Quail

Roasted Quail

Roasted Quail with Wild Rice Stuffing and Blackberry Reduction Sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

The Rice

  • 1 Cup Wild Rice
  • Chicken Stock To Replace the Water on the Rice Box Instructions, plus 1/4 Cup
  • 1 Cup Mushrooms (Your Choice), Chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Pecans, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 3 Green Onions, Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper to Taste

Blackberry Reduction Sauce

  • 1 Slice Smoked Bacon, Diced
  • 1 Shallot, Minced
  • 1/4 Cup Red Wine Vinegar
  • 16 Ounces Blackberries (Frozen is Fine)
  • 1/4 Cup Chicken Demi-Glace
  • 2 Tablespoons Water

The Quail

  • 4 Quail
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
  • Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Instructions
 

The Rice

  • Cook the rice according to package instructions, substituting chicken stock for the water.
  • While the rice is cooking, saute the mushrooms, pecans, garlic and scallions in the butter. Cook until the pecans are browned.
  • When everything has cooled down, add the mushroom-pecan mixture to the rice. Add about 1/4 cup chicken stock to the rice.

Blackberry Reduction Sauce

  • Cook the bacon and shallots over medium high heat. Once the bacon is crisp, drain off any fat. De-glaze the pan with the vinegar, and add the blackberries. Cook and stir until the berries have broken down.
  • Add the chicken demi-glace and the water. Cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon. Taste the sauce. If it has too much of a vinegar flavor, add a little sugar.
  • Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer. This sauce can be made a day ahead, and re-heated. Serve heated.

The Quail

  • Pre-heat oven to 375°.
  • Rinse and pat the quail dry. Rub the quail with the butter, and season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Using your fingers, and a spoon, gently stuff the quail with as much of the rice as they will reasonably hold. Truss the birds.
  • Place the on a greased wire rack that you've inserted into a roasting pan.
  • Roast the quail for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown, and the juices run clear.
  • Remove the pan from the oven, and place quail on a board. Tent the birds with foil, and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Serve two per person.
Keyword Blackberry Sauce, Quail, Wild Rice

Roasted Quail with Knife and Fork



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