Friday, August 27, 2010

Game Bird Outlaw

Let’s talk about game bird.  Obviously you know my protein choices are limited since I rarely eat beef and I never ever eat pig.  Sometimes, you just want something that tastes a little different you know?  Sometimes, you just want to think you’re eating something exotic.  Ok fine, quail isn’t exactly exotic, but if you’re in my family, it’s good and frequent eating. 
Not to get too much into family background, but I have a dad who is outlawed from hunting dove in the entire greater AMERICAS (this includes South America- I think EXCEPT Peru… don’t ask me why) because of illegal baiting… (we are from Kentucky, what do you want?  A man’s gotta catch his birds somehow) and therefore in the last 6 years, dove has been only on the menu about once a year. I don’t know how it seems to pop up on the menu, but with a man that’s outlawed in the entire greater Americas, you just don’t ask questions.  It’s like the hunting mafia or some shit.  Anywho, Quail, he can shoot that shit 10 times to Sunday, and I am pretty sure he does. 
Now it’s an adventure, eating quail at my house.  There are a few reasons. 
1)      These birds are wild, and they taste it kids.  This is not from a quail farmer, it’s from God’s green pastures. 
2)      When eating this bird, keep in mind it’s been shot, so the chances of you biting down on a buck shot are pretty good.  (We try and make it like a game.  “Oh, you just broke your tooth on a bullet? You win!!!!! Here’s a Benjamin, go to the dentist. )
3)      Random feathers may or may not appear flying around the kitchen during prep. I’m sorr. I can’t help it.
4)      I am really giving you a hard time, yes buck shot are a threat, but I don’t live in a barn people, I am actually quite civilized. Sort of.
So, I would say quarterly, in the cozy kitchen of our green apartment, I decide its quail time.  Ooo boy does Brian get excited when it’s quail time.  And you don’t just make a small batch of quail, you make a whole mess of quail, so it’s usually a family dinner feast.   Now, 9 times out of 10, I fry that mess.  I love fried quail like I love Martha Stewart.  It tastes like wild fried chicken and I can’t get enough of it.  But, last time, I was feeling especially classy (I know right, who am I?) and I decided to pan sear this wild bird and braise it in a white wine sauce to show it in its complete glory.  It truly was glory.  I may have a new favorite way to eat quail, and that, my friends, is a ballsy statement. 
Pan Seared Quail, Braised in White Wine
8 quail (breasts and legs)
1 Vidalia onion, diced
½ stick of butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups of arugula
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper

Rinse the quail in luke warm water and pat dry.  Generously Salt and Pepper. Heat the olive oil in the pan on medium high heat.  Sear the quail on all sides, cooking for 3 minutes each side.  Remove from the pan and place in a dish.  Add the garlic and onions to the pan.  Sautee for 5 minutes or until translucent.  Add the wine to the pan and deglaze. (Scrape up the cooked brown bits from the bottom of the pan) Let it cook down for 5 minutes.  Reintroduce the quail and its juices back into the pan, cooking for 10 minutes more.   Add the arugula in the pan 1 minute before serving, just to cook down a bit but retain its bite and peppery taste.  The end. 

Amazing.  It is that easy, and it is amazing. Happy Friday guys, I can promise you some surprises on the horizon next week.  Two very special ones, indeed.



  1. That was some damn good bird!

  2. Ladies and Gents, Dad's first comment on the blog! AMAZING!

  3. I got to enjoy that meal in person and it was absolutely delicious! YUM! :)

  4. That looks good. I've eaten around buck shot. Always an adventure.

  5. Momma Whit! Do your culinary exploits konw no bounds? That looks awesome! More to come on the cross-continental hunting ban, that sounds epic...

  6. Whitney, you are hysterical! Can we be friends? Seriously? Not sure the next time I'll be in Kentucky, but I'm pretty sure we would get along swimmingly! Illegal dove baiting? I was crying. Thanks for starting my day off with a sore belly.