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Roasted Quail with Muscadines

November/December 2011

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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.


Roasted Quail with Muscadines Recipe

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:

Ingredients

  • 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

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

Per serving: 353 calories; 15 g fat (6 g sat, 5 g mono); 110 mg cholesterol; 7 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 31 g protein; 0 g fiber; 491 mg sodium; 497 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Iron (36% daily value), Zinc (26% dv), Vitamin C (22% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 2 fat


More From EatingWell

Recipe Categories

Main Ingredient
Poultry, other
Preparation/ Technique
Roast
Saute
Meal/Course
Dinner

Season
Fall
Winter
Style/Theme
Entertaining, formal
Type of Dish
Main dish, poultry
Ethnic/Regional
French
Health & Diet Considerations
Low carbohydrate
Gluten free
Ease of Preparation
Easy
Total Time
45 minutes or less
Servings
4
20 minute dinner recipes
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