I was delighted to see quails for sale at BananaBlue. Immediately my mind was creating all kinds of cooking ideas and side dishes, I thought baby vegetables or a Leek and Barley Risotto would go well with the quail. I decided on the baby vegetables. I chose Broccolini, Baby Carrots, and Young Leeks. I cut out some potato rounds with a cookie cutter, I wanted to keep with the delicate vegetable theme. With the leeks, remove the roots and only a tiny sliver of the connective base, this way it holds together when you cook it. I have added the recipe below.
It is amazing how much meat there is on the quails breast, you don’t expect it when you eat it, the preparing is a little fiddly at first, but once you figured out the first one the others are much easier.
I bought a different pepper grinder that contains a medley of black, white, pink and green whole pepper corns, it’s a milder more pleasant taste I think personally. I also use a salt grinder with pink Himalayan salt, I have to watch my salt intake as it gives me a lot of pain in my feet if I eat too much maybe it affects the neuropathy I am not sure, but anyway this salt because it’s a grinder I can control the amount that comes out so much easier and it’s a really nice tasting salt.
I also used the streaky end of the bacon rasher, it is just the right width to go over the quail I chose to use kitchen twine to hold the bacon in place, I didn’t want to puncture the flesh of the quail and have all the juices run out, it would be terrible if it turned out dry. Being such a small bird its surprising that it still takes about 35 to 40 minutes to cook but the flesh is a little denser than chicken.
Oh and for heaven’s sake don’t feed the bones to your pets they are so thin they would snap into sharp ends, and that would be horrible.Anyway, enough prattling on from me, here is the recipe.
- 4 Whole Quails
- 4 Pieces of Bacon
- Freshly Ground Salt and Pepper
- 4 Sprigs of fresh Thyme or a small pinch of dried Thyme for each bird
- Kitchen Twine
- Tooth Picks
Rinse the Quails under cold water; check the bottom opening is clean of feathers, fat. Dry well with paper towel inside and out, shake a little salt into the cavity.
Put the thyme into the cavity. Grind salt and pepper over the quail to taste, front and back.
With a long string tie the legs together at the end of the bone. Then bring the string under the wing, flip the bird over onto the breast and tie the string across the back. This pulls the legs up so they are partly protected by the bacon.
Lay the bacon across the breast secure with tooth picks or with more kitchen twine.
Place on a wire rack over an oven tray. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes on 190C (375F) or until the juices run clear from thickest part of breast.
Serve with baby vegetables peeled and halved lengthways, cooked in salted water for 10 minutes, drained and sautéed in butter until starting to colour. Serve.