These wonderful Quail need to be prepared only in this fashion. Here in the Southern, United States, it is customary to skin the bird and fry it. I think its because the bird is small. This cleaning method makes cleaning easier, however removing all the flavor. In Italy, leaving the skin on ensures great flavor. Taking the time to remove all the feathers is a tedious job. The Quail itself is not fatty. Leaving the skin on keeps your meat moist throughout the cooking process.
Ingredients: 5-6 Quail, cleaned, gutted and skin left on
a squeeze of lemon over your birds.
4 ounces of pancetta/ sliced in one inch pieces (large enough to remove them before serving)
Several handful of fresh sage
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of pepper
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons butter
One cup of white wine
some additional water if you pan gets to dry while cooking.
A pan large enough to accommodate all your Quail
PREPARATION: Place your cleaned Quail on a cutting board. Squeeze some lemon juice over your birds. Stuff each cavity with fresh sage and a slice of Pancetta. Sprinkle the remaining Pancetta over the tops. Salt and pepper your birds.
Heat your olive oil and vegetable oil in your pan or skillet. Add your birds. Gently turn your birds quite frequently until they are browned. Be careful not to burn. Add your butter. Your heat should remain on medium during this process. After about 15 minutes your birds will somewhat browned. Add your white wine and let reduce gently and slowly. Place your lid ajar on your pan and let reduce some more for about 45 more minutes. Check your pan frequently. If your sauce looks dry, add about 1/4 water to the pan. Keep your lid ajar and baste your Quail. Serve immediately, with a dry sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio~ Buon Appetito~
Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Serve on a platter. You can strain your sauce from the pan if you like and pour over your Quail. Serve with additional fresh sage for garnish. It needed nothing more than a salad after the meal to cleanse the palate~ Enjoy!
Special Note: Generally Wild Quail weigh very little. They can be quite small, so they will cook fast.