Caera again.
Well these were crazy fun to eat. 
The thought of having my own little, individually roasted bird to pick at has always been something I've wanted to try. Even though I could totally polish off an entire chicken, a quail to me seemed to be the perfect size, if I was going to stick to proper portions.... 
This recipe is such a breeze. You buy the quail, stuff the quail, and then eat the quail. Honestly, the only technical thing is tying a piece of string around the legs.. and I assume you can tie your shoelaces, so I can assure you that this will not be an issue. If you can't tie your shoelaces... well, the string isn't even hugely necessary. 

Quails are really small birds, so they don't need a lot of time to cook through. But, they also tend to be quite dry when cooked. Dryness can be avoided if you cook it until it's slightly pink at the bone, but not raw, and basting the bird with butter throughout it's cooking time really keeps the meat succulent and rich. Mine were almost spot on, which is a great thing if it's the first time you've cooked a quail; makes it that much more enjoyable! 
The glaze that accompanies the quail is really delicious drizzled over the other elements on the plate. But with just the bird itself, over the crispy skin; so finger-licking good. And that's just the thing; you may start with a knife and fork, but you'll ultimately find yourself biting the meet of the carcass and pulling the meat away with your fingers. There is something satisfying about using your fingers with these kinds of meals. I absolutely encourage you to use your fingers, but have some napkins nearby.  


- 4 whole quail, cleaned and patted dry

- 4 tsp of butter
- 1 orange, cut into wedges
- 4 tsp tarragon
- salt and pepper
- clove of garlic (optional)

- 4 tbsp orange marmalade
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 tbsp tarragon
- salt and pepper

1) Preheat your oven to 180 C fan forced, 200 C, 350 Fahrenheit. Place a pinch of salt and pepper on the inside of each bird, making sure not to over-salt. Place 1 teaspoon of butter, a wedge of orange and pinch of tarragon into each bird. Slices of garlic are optional; only add a few.

2) Apply a coating of butter to the outside of each bird and sprinkle with some more salt and pepper ( the legs of the bird can be tied together and covered in foil to prevent burning).

3) Place on a foil lined tray, breast side up, and cook for 20-25 minutes, frequently checking on them. At least twice throughout the cooking time, baste each bird with melted butter. They should brown nicely on top.

4) In the meantime, the glaze can be prepared. In a microwaveable dish, place the marmalade, tarragon, orange juice and minced garlic clove, then combine. Heat this in the microwave until a smooth, runny syrup consistency is reached. You can do this in intervals to intensify the flavour. 

5) When the quails are cooked, pull them out, coat them generously with the glaze, using maybe half, cover them, and then let them rest for a few minutes. Just before serving, pour the juice from the cooked quails into the leftover glaze, stir, and then drizzle over the quail. 

I served these succulent quails with some fresh wok-fried carrots, broccoli and zucchini and boiled short-grain brown rice that had been cooked in stock for added flavour. The flavours came together better than I thought they would. The quail was rich and succulent and the glaze added that syrupy citrus component that paired so well with it and brought it to life. We all really, really enjoyed this meal. I reckon I'll be making this again pretty soon. 
4/11/2015 10:52:42 am

Loved it, tweaked it a bit since I did not have marmalade, but cane out great regardless. Thanks


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