The smallest game bird. Quail are 16-18 centimeters long and have speckled plumage in brown, black and white. The male has dark stripes on its face.
European quail are found in arable land and fields. They fly south in the winter.
Quail are an appreciated bird for eating and are kept in cages, particularly for their tiny and popular eggs. The meat is quite light and similar to chicken, but with a proper gamey flavor.
Quail tastes fantastic, like a mini-chicken.
– Carina Brydling, Marmite, and other restaurants
Keep in mind
If you find quail, take the opportunity to buy eggs too. They're small and delicate.
Estimate that you'll need 2 birds for each person.
How to cook quail
Quail are delicious braised; brown it in a pan and then simmer under a lid in a little liquid. Or make a stew with added fat and flavor from smoked bacon for example.
Grilled quail: Slice the quail along the back and place in a dish, breast side up. Pour olive oil and lemon juice over the top and add salt, pepper and chopped herbs. Leave to rest in the fridge for an hour. Grill the quail for about 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Brush with a little honey and return to the grill for a few more minutes.
Roast in the oven at 170-180°C to an internal temperature of 70°C. Remember to add enough extra fat. The basics when roasting whole birds:
- Remove the giblets. Save the liver, heart and gizzard (e.g. for the sauce).
- Wipe the bird dry and remove any feathers with tweezers.
- Add fat under the skin, e.g. bacon and/or lard.
- Season on the outside and on the inside.
- Tie the bird into a neat shape for more even cooking.
- Juices run clear = completely cooked.
- Leave the meat to rest!
You'll find more ideas for cooking wild fowl under.
Braised quail. Fry the birds quickly on all sides and then leave them to absorb flavors under a lid with stock, wine, spices and something sweet.