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.

Virginia Willis
Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2011

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Recipe Summary

total:
45 mins
Servings:
4
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

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  • 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

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 Facts

353 calories; protein 30.9g 62% DV; carbohydrates 7.2g 2% DV; exchange other carbs 0.5; dietary fiber 0.3g 1% DV; sugars 5.2g; fat 15.4g 24% DV; saturated fat 5.7g 29% DV; cholesterol 109.5mg 37% DV; vitamin a iu 274.5IU 6% DV; vitamin c 11mg 18% DV; folate 13.5mcg 3% DV; calcium 28.6mg 3% DV; iron 6.5mg 36% DV; magnesium 43.1mg 15% DV; potassium 497.2mg 14% DV; sodium 491mg 20% DV; thiamin 0.4mg 41% DV.