Quail: Mama's Quail in Red Wine Sauce
Source of Recipe
From "Bon Appétit, Y'all" by Virginia Willis
"Quail and dove shoots are still serious Southern rituals, and my father always hunted when I was growing up. Quail meat is darker than that of dove, which has a tendency to be dry. While I don't shoot often anymore, I do love to reap the rewards from my friends and relatives who hunt. I can hardly eat or cook quail without thinking about a dinner party Mama hosted when I was young. She was frying the quail and her hand was splashed with hot grease. Instead of going to the hospital, she sat with her hand in a bowl of ice water in her lap under the table so as not to disturb her guests. Some people might think that was incredibly stupid, but all I can think about is her amazing hospitality and selflessness. Mama and I have laughed about it in later years, because the unexpected bonus is she has no age spots on that hand."
List of Ingredients
◦ 8 (4- to 6-ounce) quail
◦ Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
◦ 1 cup all-purpose flour
◦ ¼ cup canola oil, plus more if needed
◦ 8 sprigs of thyme, plus more for garnish
◦ 1 cup dry red wine
◦ 1 cup chicken stock or low-fat, reduced-sodium chicken broth
◦ 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Tie the legs of the quail together with kitchen twine. Season the quail with salt and pepper. Place the flour in a shallow dish and lightly season with salt and pepper. Coat the quail in the flour, shaking off the excess.
To cook the quail, heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the quail without crowding and sear on both sides until the birds are a dark, golden brown color, about 3 minutes per side. Sprinkle thyme sprigs over the birds and transfer the skillet to the oven. Continue cooking until the quail are cooked through but still pink, an additional 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the quail to a warm platter; cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep them warm.
To make the sauce, pour off the excess oil. Place the skillet on top of the stove over high heat. Add the red wine and stir with a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits from the bottom. Decrease the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is well reduced, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the stock and continue to simmer until reduced by half, an additional 5 minutes. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Whisk in the butter. Return the quail to the sauce and spoon over the sauce to coat. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6