How to Cook Quail (2024)

The easiest and most traditional way to cook quail is to simply roast them whole in the oven. You will need 1 bird per person. Quail is also great cooked on the barbecue. The Chinese deep-fry whole quails and eat the entire bird, including the bones!

Quail legs are succulent and soft when cooked slowly in oil at a low temperature, a process known as confit.

Quail breasts can be pan-fried, grilled or roasted; taking only a few minutes to cook, they are a great choice for a quick midweek dinner. The breasts, unlike chicken, can be served slightly pink in the middle. It is very unlikely that you will be able to buy quail breast and legs separately so follow our guidelines for jointing whole birds.

Quail has a delicate, gamey flavour which should not be overpowered by very strong flavours, it lends itself well to light salads and spring vegetables.

Martin Wishart roasts his quail and serves it simply with melted herb butter while Bruno Loubet stuff his quails and wraps them in pancetta for a more impressive meal.

Mark Dodson serves Breast of quail with pea purée, pancetta and marjoram jus with a deep fried quail's egg to finish it off.

How to Cook Quail (2024)


How should quail be cooked? ›

Oven: Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat with enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Season the quail then sear them in the pan until browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Place quail in the oven and roast until cooked through and juices run clear, about 10 - 15 minutes.

How do you prepare quail for eating? ›

The easiest and most traditional way to cook quail is to simply roast them whole in the oven. You will need 1 bird per person. Quail is also great cooked on the barbecue. The Chinese deep-fry whole quails and eat the entire bird, including the bones!

Do you need to soak quail before cooking? ›

You don't need to marinate or brine the quail, but since the meat is lean and fairly dry, doing so can reduce the risk of drying the meat out during the cooking process.

Does quail have to be fully cooked? ›

What's great about quail is that it's one of the easiest birds to cook. You have to try really hard to mess them up. In classic French cooking, they're often served with the meat still pink, but that meat, like duck, remains delicious even when it's fully cooked through.

Can you eat quail meat pink? ›

Quail is a game bird with a delicate, sweet flavour. As they are a small bird, they dont take very long to cook. The breasts, unlike chicken, can be served while still pink in the middle.

Are quail worth eating? ›

Like most animals, quails are rich in protein. They are also a good source of iron, vitamin B6, zinc, and vitamin B3. For those who cannot bear to eat these creatures, quails are also sometimes kept as pets, and lay tiny speckled eggs that are also edible.

How long does it take a quail to be ready to eat? ›

Quail grow quickly. In just 7 to 8 weeks, they're ready for processing. The final product is small (just ¼ pound), so you'll probably want a couple for dinner. The meat is delicious.

What part of quail do you eat? ›

As a food, these birds are found in many cultures around the world. While quail might not be a common dish today, humans have been consuming them for centuries. Unlike many other animals, quail bones are soft when cooked, and rather than remove them, many eat the bones as well as the meat.

What is the best eating quail? ›

Bobwhite Quail are an excellent option for sport, hunting, and dog training. They take longer to mature than their counterpart the Coturnix Quail. Once mature, both types of quail are great for meat and eggs.

How to get rid of gamey taste in quail? ›

The distinct game flavor of either birds or animals will be milder after soaking the meat overnight in the refrigerator in either a salt or vinegar solution. 2. Vinegar solution - 1 cup per quart of cold water. Use enough solution to cover the game completely.

How long does it take to boil quail? ›

When cooking quail eggs, seconds count, so make sure not to over-boil them.
  1. After two minutes the whites will be soft with a runny yolk.
  2. After two and a half minutes the whites will be set with a thick, runny yolk.
  3. After three minutes the yolk will be partially set with a wee soft patch in the middle.

Is quail hard to cook? ›

Few game birds are as versatile, simple to cook, and easy to enjoy as quail. These plump, juicy birds should be the basis for “Game 101,” because they make everyone - from novices to professionals - look like a champion. Grilled, broiled, or sautéed, they're almost impossible to ruin.

Which cooking method is best for quail? ›

Grilling quail has a similar end result to roasting, with the added bonus of smoky, charred flavors. This is also a great preparation method if your quail is the main dish. For this cooking method, you'll need a charcoal or gas grill, kitchen scissors, and skewers. Preheat a charcoal or gas grill.

Is quail healthy to eat? ›

Quail is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals, iron and macronutrients such as calcium, phosphor, zinc and more. Here are a few prominent health benefits: it contains a host of vitamins, including Vitamin A, D, K and B. Quail eggs and meat are rich in selenium, essential fatty acids and antioxidants.

Is quail served medium rare? ›

They are small, so allow one quail per person for an hors d'oeuvre, and at least 2 per person for an entrée. Because they are lean, they need to be cooked quickly over high heat and served medium rare to retain their moisture and flavor.

How should quail be served? ›

Quail are fairly lean and good for roasting, grilling and casseroling; they also make good curries. They can be bought whole or boned for stuffing and roasting (some butchers sell them ready-stuffed).

How do you eat quail politely? ›

Small birds, such as squab, quail, and pheasant, are eaten with utensils or fingers. Table manners for eating game birds at a formal dinner. At a formal dinner, the meat is removed from birds with a fork and a knife. No fingers are used.

Can quail be undercooked? ›

Quail should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure it is thoroughly cooked and safe to eat. Use a meat thermometer to accurately gauge the temperature of the thickest part of the bird, typically the breast area. Undercooked quail can pose a risk of foodborne illnesses such as Salmonella.

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