Quail is a delicate, small bird, rich in flavor. Cooked with rich smooth polenta in this luscious dish, it is a delight for any gourmand.
Quail Roasted in Polenta
Author: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Recipe type: Wild Game
- 12 wild or farm-raised quail (6 to 8) or other small game birds; necks removed
- 2 Tablespoons Coriander-Fennel Rub (to 3 Tablespoons; (see Recipe)
- or seasoning of choice
- Polenta; (see Recipe)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove; chopped
- fresh rosemary or parsley sprigs; for garnish
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9- by 9-inch baking dish.
- Season birds with rub. Set aside while you prepare the polenta. Pour polenta into baking dish.
- In a large skillet, heat oil and garlic over medium-high heat. Add birds; thoroughly brown on all sides. Remove pan from the heat. Let birds cool until they can be handled without burning your fingers.
- Arrange quail in a circle by taking each bird and standing it upright in the polenta, breast meat facing out. Gently push the bird down into the polenta until it can stand by itself. Put the next bird alongside the first and repeat for the remaining quail.
- Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the juices run a rosy color when a bird is poked with a fork (do not overcook). Garnish with sprigs of fresh rosemary or parsley.
- Yields 6 servings.
Quail, being a small bird, should cook very quickly in a moderately high oven. The meat should be moist and tender. Overcooked wild birds are usually very tough to consume, thus it is recommnded not to aim for "well-done", but rare to medium rare, for the optimum dining experience.