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Roasted Quail

Quail is the ultimate, versatile little bird.  It cooks quickly and looks very pretty on the plate.  Here at The Cook's Atelier, we cook quail all year long.  In the autumn and winter months, it is great with pan-seared mushrooms and breadcrumbs.  In the summertime, we pair it with a vibrant salsa verde.  As a nod to spring, this version is light and elegant with springtime baby market vegetables.  We roasted the potatoes, little tomatoes and the baby leeks separately.  For the asparagus and fava beans, our preferred method is to barely blanch them and finish them with a little brown butter. The finishing touch is the pan sauce made with white wine.  We hope you enjoy.


Roasted Quail with a White Wine Jus

Serves 6

6 whole quail

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

A sprig or two of fresh rosemary, sage, thyme or marjoram

6 cloves of garlic, smashed

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Extra-virgin olive oil


For the jus

1 shallot, chopped

1 sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

1 cup dry white wine

A knob of unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut off the feet at the knee joint and the head at the base of the neck.  Rinse and thoroughly dry the bird.  Season the inside of the quail with salt and pepper and stuff the cavity with herbs and a clove or two of garlic.  Use your fingers to rub the softened butter all over the quail and season with salt and pepper.

In a large ovenproof skillet, drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil, just enough to coat the pan.  Preheat the pan over medium high heat.  Place the quail in the pan and sear on all sides for a nice, crispy skin.  Slide the skillet in the oven and roast the quail until done, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.

To make the jus:

Remove the quail from the pan and set it on a warm cutting board to rest.  Add the shallot, thyme and bay leaf to the pan and cook until the shallot is translucent, but not brown.  Add the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up all the little bits of browned quail.  Strain the jus and continue to reduce until slightly thickened.  Off the heat, add a knob of butter  and swirl the pan to incorporate the butter in the jus.