I love quail, it’s a little bird with big flavour! This stuffed, roasted quail recipe is now a favourite recipe of mine; I highly recommend it! It’s uncomplicated, intensely flavourful, and takes very little time to prepare.
I’m currently rediscovering quail. I’ve eaten quail my whole life, but recently I started expanding my horizons regarding quail recipes and I’m very happy with the results. For my latest food experiment, I decided to make stuffed, roasted quail. Of course, the first hurdle I faced was what to use for stuffing. I considered many options: I thought of using quinoa, wild rice, bread, bread crumbs, nuts and onions. However, I ended up making a rice stuffing because I knew it would be good and is something I have experience with, for example when stuffing chicken or pigeon. I might try different stuffing options in the future, but I would need to do some experimenting.
So, with that in mind, I started preparing my little birds. This time around, I tried something entirely new to me: I brined the quail beforehand. It was an excellent decision and I highly recommend it. Brining yielded incredibly juicy, tender, well-seasoned birds that it was almost unbelievable that they’d been roasted in an oven! They didn’t dry out, their meat was just perfect. It was so good, I could write poetry on brining quail before roasting! I used a red-currant jam glaze for the quail, similar to the one used in my Roast Duck recipe. The glaze added a little sweetness and acidity to the roasted quail. I also served it with some fresh, sour red currants to balance the rich stuffing.
The ingredients for this stuffed, roast quail recipe are accessible, easy to find and easy to make, you can even replicate this recipe with other birds such as pheasant, chicken or even turkey (of course, you should take into account the relative sizes of these birds and increase the recipe accordingly).
- Six medium quails
- For the brine: three tablespoons kosher salt, two tablespoons sugar, one tablespoon dried herbs and other aromatics such as garlic (according to preference), three cups of warm water (or enough to cover the birds).
- The glaze: red currant jam, warm water
- For the rice stuffing: Half a cup of long-grain rice, half a medium onion, a quarter cup of coarsely chopped walnuts, half a cup of dark raisins, salt, pepper, one cup of water plus one tablespoon.
- Two to three tablespoons canola oil.
- Mix the brine ingredients in a bowl large enough to take all the quails. Make sure the salt and sugar dissolve completely. Immerse the birds in the brine, cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Heat one tablespoon canola oil in a small pot/saucepan. Add the chopped onion. Sauté the onion until translucent. Season with a little salt and pepper.
- When the onion is translucent, add the walnuts and toast them a little, then add the raisins. Make sure not to burn either one.
- Add the rice, stir, then add the water. Bring it all to a boil over high heat, then put the heat on low, cover, and let it simmer until the rice absorbs all the water and cooks through (about 20 minutes).
- Preheat the oven to 375 Fahrenheit (for conversion to Celsius, please check the Conversions section of this website).
- Remove the quails from the brine, rinse with cold water. Place in an oven-proof pan and with a teaspoon scoop some of the rice stuffing into the cavities of the birds. Push the stuffing in place with your thumb and if necessary add more until each bird is fully stuffed.
- Drizzle the remaining canola oil onto the top of the birds. Place half a cup of water in the bottom of the pan, then put it in the oven.
- Roast for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven, brush the glaze on top of the birds, then place under the broil at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for another 5-7 minutes or until the quails’ breasts are nice and browned. Rest for five minutes then enjoy!
Would you try this recipe? If yes, let me know how it goes! Did you modify it in any way? How did you customise it? If you enjoy quail and other small birds, check out the following recipes:
© 2019, L.E.. All rights reserved.