Quail with Ginger-Cranberry Pilaf

4.2 (5)
Quail with Ginger-Cranberry Pilaf

Here, we sear quail in a skillet and then finish them in the oven over a bed of pear- and cranberry-studded brown-rice pilaf. Although they look like they might be tricky to prepare, quail couldn't be easier to roast. And the flavor payoff is big—rich, succulent meat that is a dark-meat lover's delight.

Yield: 4 servings, 2 quail & 1 1/2 cups pilaf each
Active Time: 45
Total Time: 105


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 semi-boneless quail, (about 4 ounces each; see Shopping Tip)
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 2 cups chopped peeled pears, (about 2 medium)


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, high-sided, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add onion and ginger to the pan; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in cranberries, sage, thyme and rice. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 45 to 50 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, season quail with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook the quail, in 2 batches, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  4. When the rice is done, stir in pears, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place the quail breast-side up on top of the rice. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake uncovered until the rest of the liquid is absorbed and the quail is cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve the quail with the pilaf.

Tips & Notes

  • Shopping tip: Semi-boneless quail have had all bones removed except the wing and lower leg bones, making them a great choice for quick sautéing or grilling. Find them in well-stocked supermarkets, specialty butchers or from dartagnan.com.


Nutrition Per Serving

calories 683
fat 22 g (5 g sat, 10 g mono)
cholesterol 78 mg
carbohydrates 92 g
protein 32 g
fiber 7 g
sodium 773 mg
potassium 517 mg

Nutrition Bonus Magnesium (33% daily value), Iron (28% dv), Zinc (26% dv), Vitamin C (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Serving 6

Exchanges 3 1/2 starch, 2 fruit, 3 medium-fat meat, 1 1/2 fat

From EatingWell November/December 2008