My mom’s telling me to eat food that’s easy on the spice for a while. She has her reasons, but I absolutely refuse to give up spices just because I have to lay off the chillies. So, today I made myself a lovely dinner featuring some fresh quail I got at my supermarket, with a version of the ‘Awesomely Easy Potato Appetizer‘, and some green beans. The quail recipe was really simple, but I got a chance to use the wonderfully fragrant herbes de Provence that my friends picked up for me on their honeymoon.
I do have a bit of a rant I’m going to go into about using fresh meat. If you want, you can skip ahead.
So, fresh meat. Loads of people eat meat. We also know, provided we have half a brain, that it comes from some animal, bird or sea faring creature. Those things are flesh and blood and they bleat, moo, poo, eat, sleep and possibly even dream. They also have to die in order for us to be fed. I think that we owe them the respect of not whinging on about how raw meat is ‘icky’. If you don’t have the bollocks (pardon the pun) to touch their meat, you don’t deserve to eat them. Simple as that.So grow a pair, touch it, and appreciate the sacrifice – willing or unwilling.
Anyhow, back to your regularly scheduled recipe.
- 2 fresh whole quail with the tips of the wings and neck cut off. Make sure you clean it of any leftover feathers and whatnot. 2 quail make approximately one person’s entree.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp herbes de Provence
- 1 clove crushed/diced garlic
- 1 tsp butter (approx), plus two small wodges.
- 2 small bay leaves
- 2 small sprigs thyme (optional)
- Clean the quail thoroughly, pat dry with a paper towel
- In a bowl, mix olive oil with the herbes de provence, salt, pepper, diced garlic into a sort of wet rub.
- With your fingers, rub the mixture all over the birds. Let them sit for at least half an hour. Try to get the mixture between the skin and flesh as well, but remember, quail skin is very thin, so it might tear.
- While this is marinating, pre-heat oven to about 400-425 F.
- In the body cavity of each, place a wodge of butter, a bay leaf and the thyme. Rub a bit of butter on each of the birds, especially on the breast.
- Fold the legs of each bird, and tuck the knees under the wings. You could use kitchen string to truss them, but it’s too much work.
- Place them in a roasting pan, making sure they don’t touch.
- Roast without a lid for about 40 minutes, basting and turning over once in the middle.
- The quails are cooked when the juice runs clear if you pierce the fleshy bit. The skin should get nice and crispy.
- After they’re cooked, make sure you let them rest covered with a bit of foil for at least 10 minutes.