Fried Father’s Day Quail
While Mother’s Day seems to be the holiday for breakfast in bed, I think most dads end up getting a steak and potatoes dinner on their equivalent holiday. I offered to make Eric a steak this year, but he requested something lighter.
So he got quail. I’ve only recently started cooking quail, but I am absolutely in love. I can get local semi-boneless quail at the store, which means just the leg and wing bones are intact, leaving the breasts boneless and super easy to eat.
I always did my quail the same way—covered in crushed cumin and grilled, which is excellent—until my mom sent me this recipe from Lee Bailey’s book Long Weekends. And Neko went nuts. So this is how I do my quail now, and this is what Eric got for his Father’s Day dinner, served with small baked potatoes and a green salad full of tomatoes and sweet peppers from our yard.
Neko ate an entire quail, and kept calling it “bacon,” which tells you how good the recipe is. The skin gets super crunchy and delicious.
I promise that cooking and eating quail this way is less fiddly than you’d think. Look for semi-boneless quail (or even just boneless breasts). The tiny birds cook much quicker than chicken and are easily twice as delicious.
From Long Weekends by Lee Bailey
Feeds 2 adults and 2 toddler
4 semi-boneless quail
Peanut oil (or canola oil)
Split each quail in half and rub with a drop of tabasco on each side. (I skip this step due to the kiddo, but I tried it this way once and it didn’t add too much heat.)
Sprinkle well with salt and pepper and dredge in flour, shaking off excess.
Heat a large skillet with 1 1/2 tablespoons each of peanut oil and butter, when bubbly place quail halves in, skin side down.
Cook for about 3 minutes over low medium heat, turn and cook another 3 minutes.
Use a small heavy skillet to weight the quail down and cook an additional 2 minutes.
Remove weight and turn, cooking until golden on the other side, about 3 minutes.
If quail are not golden by this time, turn the heat up to finish them.