Quail Wild Style

A quail doesn’t resemble something meant to be eaten. Rather, it looks like a beast rudely interrupted mid-flight and then snatched onto a dinner plate. Its bones are as plentiful as the flesh, and it’s tinier than the smallest item on the kids’ menu.

But its weirdness is precisely what makes it so delicious. A quail is a wild thing, meant to be captured, killed, and eaten, preferably after exposure to heat. The bone-to-flesh ration is part of its charm: the bird is a sort of flying potato chip designed to be crunched about by a firm set of molars.

Quails are alternative fowl. Somewhere along the way, however, they turned into fancy prized creatures. Chefs bard them and lard them and stuff them and splay them. Whole brigades of cooks turn little vegetables to serve as a foil for the tiny bird. The fussier the food, the greater the focus on the sauce with which to disguise it, hence the encyclopedia of quail dressings.

In the end, though, why muddy up the gamy taste of quail with a lot of gunk? You may as well eat chicken. Why carve, puree, or stud it inside a terrine mold? Quail is wild and should be eaten as such: with two hands and a pit bull jaw. If you need a sauce, we have a recipe for a simple enhanced parsley oil, which I recommend served on the side.

Quail Wild Style

Serves 4 as an appetizer

4 quail, (not deboned!)
¼ cup canola oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 lime, quartered
Parsley Sauce (optional)
salt and pepper

  1. Season the quail with salt and pepper. Heat the oil and butter in a medium pan until the butter foam subsides. Add the quail and sauté until richly brown and crisp, about 6 minutes. Baste with the butter and oil. Serve with a lime quarter and if desired, a bowl of sauce on the side.

Parsley oil

small handful parsley
½ cup walnuts
2 cloves garlic
½ cup canola or grapeseed oil
½ cup olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Add all the ingredients except for the oils in a blender. Slowly pour in the oils with the blender on until a smooth puree. Season.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Quail Wild Style | 2 Peas & A Pot Catering | Organic Rapeseed Oil

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