Quail is a small game bird that is often described as having a more assertive flavor than chicken, though they are both similar. The bolder flavor combined with a small body full of bones can make it a little intimidating to cook. However, it is a flavor that is popular in many different regions, including Portugal, Italy, Mexico, and India.
If you do manage to get your hands on some, try your hand at these 13 quail recipes to appreciate the tender, delicious flavors of this game meat.
A simple way to start out with quail is to just cook it like chicken. Southern fried quail is a classic that only needs simple ingredients like salt, pepper, flour, and oil for cooking. You can add some spices and herbs too, or just try it with these basic ingredients to really get the flavor of the quail.
This grilled quail, made with white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and tarragon, is deliciously tangy and savory. You can serve it simply over a bed of arugula for a full meal, or pair it with a creamy starch like a potato or polenta, or freshly grilled green vegetables like asparagus and zucchini.
Made with a few simple ingredients, this Asian-style quail adds a kick of spice. You can use any barbeque sauce of your choice (though something heavy with garlic usually works best), chili garlic sauce, sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger, white wine, and soy sauce to create the perfect flavor combination. Just make sure you plan ahead so it has at least 30 minutes to marinate.
If you want a fancier dinner, try this oven-roasted quail. Featuring a citrusy balsamic glaze and served with cheese grits, this meal is sure to impress. While you can substitute a few of the ingredients, like regular balsamic in place of lavender balsamic, taking the time to make the dish properly and finding the right ingredients will help you get the flavors just right.
Anything wrapped in bacon will taste good; you just can’t go wrong with it. This dish is simple but doesn’t only rely on bacon to make it delicious. It also uses garlic, soy sauce, and honey to create a savory and sweet meal. Try to let the quail marinate overnight so that it absorbs all the delicious flavors. The slightly browned bacon and the juicy quail make for an incredible pairing.
#6. Smoked Quail
If you have a smoker, you absolutely must make this smoked quail recipe. Garlic, sugar, hot paprika, chipotle powder, thyme, and oregano come together to make a flavorful rub. Like other dishes on this list, letting it marinate is the best way to truly infuse the quail with amazing flavor. Serve it with beans, onions, and pickles to round up the meal.
A couscous salad is a traditional Middle Eastern meal full of vegetables and protein. This recipe is for the bold, as it has all sorts of new things to try, including making your own coriander salt and garlic sauce. With the quail cooked on a grill, it adds a lovely smoky flavor to this couscous and vegetable salad.
These grilled quail kebabs are excellent finger food, perfect to serve at a party. You will want to let the quail and figs marinate in the balsamic rosemary sauce for a full day before grilling. When you are ready to serve, sprinkle some crushed pecans on top and squeeze a wedge of fresh lemon over the skewers.
Here’s another Mediterranean recipe that’s bursting with fresh flavors. The feta sauce is made with feta, garlic, basil, and lemon juice all thrown into a blender together. It pairs well with the minty, garlicky quail and mixes all the best flavors of the Mediterranean.
Want to try something different for Thanksgiving or Christmas? This stuffed quail is a perfect accompaniment to a holiday meal. It also works as a meal shortly after the holidays, since you can use leftover cornbread, andouille sausage, and green onions to fill it up. To add to the flavor, serve it with collard greens made with hot peppers.
Sometimes, nothing beats a good sandwich. To make this refreshing recipe, roast the quail in a pan with lemon-pepper seasoning. Pair it with veggies, sprouts, and a loaf of nice, crunchy artisan bread. This meal is not only delicious but it is also packed with nutrition and very filling.
#12. Quail Schnitzel
Have you ever had a schnitzel? Even if you have, we bet it wasn’t one made from quail. This quail schnitzel uses breadcrumbs, egg, flour, and milk and is seasoned simply with salt and pepper. If you really want to get into the dish, serve it with buttered cabbage as your base. It brightens up the dish and adds some pleasant acidity.
#13. Quail Sliders
Quail sliders are a party favorite. Served with pickled green tomatoes that you can make days in advance and sambal mayonnaise, the unique mix of flavors will enhance the quail and provide a much-needed bite of acidity and spice. A toasted roll completes the dish with a nice crunch. Just try not to eat them all in one sitting!