Roasted Quail with Muscadines
Muscadines are wild grapes indigenous to the Southeast. If you can find them, by all means use them; otherwise use regular grapes. Either makes a lovely sweet-tart accompaniment for rich quail. The traditional French pairing for quail is chestnuts. Try this quail dish with a simple, savory chestnut puree.
Yield: 4 servings
Active Time: 45
Total Time: 45
- 8 semiboneless quail (about 4 ounces each; see Tips)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons bourbon, brandy or Cognac
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 4 ounces muscadines or scuppernongs, halved, seeded and peeled (about 3/4 cup; see Tips), or large seedless grapes, halved
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Pat quail dry and season with salt and pepper. Place a large roasting pan over two burners on medium-high heat, add butter and oil and heat until shimmering. Add the quail skin-side down and sear until deep brown, 2 to 3 minutes, moving them to different spots in the pan to brown evenly.
- Turn the quail over and place a thyme sprig on each; transfer the pan to the oven. Roast until cooked through but still a little pink in the leg, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer the quail to a warmed large platter and tent with foil.
- Add bourbon (or brandy or Cognac) to the roasting pan and return it to the stovetop. Turn the two burners under the pan to medium-high heat, add wine and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Simmer, stirring often, until the liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup, 3 to 5 minutes. Add broth and continue to simmer until reduced by half (about 1/2 cup), 5 to 7 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add grapes and stir to warm them, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve the quail with the grape sauce.
Tips & Notes
- Tips: Semiboneless quail have had all bones removed except for the wing and lower leg bones, making them a great choice for quick cooking. Find them in well-stocked supermarkets, specialty butchers or from dartagnan.com.
- Muscadines and scuppernongs have tough, sour skins concealing sweet, juicy flesh. To peel and seed, halve the grapes through the stem end with a sharp chef’s knife. Using the tip of the knife, remove the seeds. Squeeze each half over a bowl. The flesh with separate from the skin. Use immediately.
Nutrition Bonus: Iron (36% daily value), Zinc (26% dv), Vitamin C (22% dv).
1/2 Carbohydrate Serving
Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 2 fat