There is something about busting a covey of quail that just gets the old hunting blood a boiling. The whirring of their wings as they break cover, the quick acquisition of a single target, and the resulting successful shot all make for an awesome hunting experience. The delicate white meat is also exceptional table fare. Hunt a few up and give this baby a try! This tasty recipe requires 8 – 10 whole quail. You can also use it for spatchcocked or breasted birds. Pheasant, chukar, and grouse respond equally well to this preparation. Total time of 1 hour 15 minutes, and feeds 4-5 people. Ingredients

  • 8 – 10 whole plucked quail
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to season birds
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup white wine (sauvignon blanc, or chardonnay)
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions

  • Wash the birds and pat them dry with a paper towel. Season them inside and out to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Bring a large frying pan up to medium heat and melt the butter. Saute the sausage, mushrooms, and bread crumbs until the sausage is browned (about 5 minutes). Spray a large glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Stuff the quail with the sausage and mushroom mixture and place them on their side in the baking dish. Any leftover stuffing can be place around the birds. If you are trying this recipe with breasted birds or other species of game birds, surround the breast fillets and legs with the stuffing mix.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • You don’t need to clean the pan, but add the olive oil and flour to the pan over medium heat to make a roux. Stir constantly until a nice golden brown and add the chicken stock and wine. Mix in the garlic, onion, parsley, and cayenne pepper. Simmer the sauce for about 5 minutes. (If you want a really rich sauce you can add ¼ cup of heavy cream) Pour the sauce mixture over the quail in the baking pan.
  • Bake the quail, uncovered about 45 minutes or until done in the 325 degree oven. Flip the quail half-way through the baking period, and baste with the sauce every 10 minutes. If you are cooking larger game birds such as pheasant you will need to increase cooking time 15-30 minutes.
  • We recommend a wild rice mix and some grilled asparagus to go with the birds. Plate the quail over a bed of the rice and surround with the asparagus. Pour the sauce over the birds and rice. The quail pair nicely with a Pinot Noir or White Rhone blend. More wine pairings are available under the Upland Bird section at wildgamewine.com. Pour a glass and enjoy!

Click here to download a printable recipe card.