The Quail Experiment – Lemon, Rosemary and Garlic

Oh wow – can’t believe that I missed my usual 5:00 am posting yesterday. It was my intention to cook up a nice Sunday supper featuring quail, and have that all ready for Monday’s daily post. While blogging each day is very much a part of my daily routine, so is having a life with my beautiful family. We took the entire weekend off from the grind of everyday living and had a bit of fun. On Saturday we went to the annual Chili cook off in our hometown. It was a hoot.  Some killer chili – some not so memorable – but a good time all the same. We’ve noticed that each year of the competition that there is a trend among entries – be it the presentation or a particular spice that seems to be the “hot button” of the day. This year, it was a heavy-hand when it came to adding cumin to the chili. Everyone seemed to use that as the spice of choice. Some more than others. Kiddo and I have talked about entering the contest one of these years. But when I look at the overall investment these competitors have made – from the tents to the stoves and giant pots, I’m just not that committed.

Sunday we got up early, and headed south to the Oakdale Car Show and Chocolate Festival. Now you would think that a Chocolate Festival would have all things Chocolate. There were a few vendors selling hand-crafted Chocolate; but for the most part it was fudge and cookies and chocolate covered nuts. One of the most impressive chocolates were the truffles – all handmade. The most impressive were the hand painted truffles. We had a great time – got our fill of “fair” food – garlic fries, giant sausage links and deep-fried onions. The car show was great – Hubby and Kiddo really enjoyed looking at all the beautiful restore cars with their fancy paint-jobs.

When we got home, we all took a nap – and that became lights out for your truly. Needless to say, the quail I had bought on Saturday with the intention of cooking on Sunday for a post on Monday just failed to become a reality.


I know absolutely nothing about how to properly prepare Quail. A search on the internet and you will discover “brine”; “Don’t brine”; “Bake”; “Broil” and so on. One thing all these well-intended advisers have in common is that Quail is touchy – if not properly prepared; you will have dried out meat. The same can be said about Cornish Game Hens. So I’ve decided to approach Quail in the same way I do Game Hens. Naturally, the roasting time will need to be greatly reduced. My biggest advise – when you remove the quail from its packaging, try not to laugh. Poor birds with their skinny little bird legs!

My first attempt at roasting Quail is adapted from a recipe for game hens.

Quail with Lemon, Rosemary and Garlic
12 Quail
salt and pepper to taste
1 lemon, quartered
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons olive oil
24 cloves garlic
1/3 cup white wine
1/3 cup chicken broth
4 sprigs fresh rosemary, for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Rub quail with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Lightly season quail with salt and pepper. Place 1 lemon wedge and 1 sprig rosemary in cavity of each bird. Arrange in a large, heavy roasting pan, and arrange garlic cloves around birds. Roast in preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. In a mixing bowl, whisk together wine, chicken broth, and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil; pour over birds. Continue roasting about 10 minutes longer, or until birds are golden brown and juices run clear. Baste with pan juices every few minutes.

Transfer birds to a platter, pouring any cavity juices into the roasting pan. Tent birds with aluminum foil to keep warm. Transfer pan juices and garlic cloves to a medium saucepan and boil until liquids reduce to a sauce consistency, about 6 minutes. Cut birds in half lengthwise and arrange on plates. Spoon sauce and garlic around birds. Garnish with rosemary sprigs, and serve.


The results of my first experiment: The meat was a little dry, but the sauce made up for this. The quail did not brown up as I had hoped; and I think that’s part of why the meat was a little dry. Live and learn. Hubby and Kiddo thought the quail had nice flavor, and that’s a plus.

2 thoughts on “The Quail Experiment – Lemon, Rosemary and Garlic

  1. This looks great! It sounds like you’ve got some ideas for how to work on the quail next time. I’m envious you did so well! I wouldn’t know the first thing about quail or game birds, I always cheat and use plain ol’ chicken. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sometimes it’s good to venture outside your comfort zone – you never know what you can do until you test the waters. I’m lucky in that Hubby and Kiddo let me experiment on them and give suggestions.


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