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Cooking Quail On The Barbecue
For those of you that haven't tried it, quail is absolutely delicious and is one of my favourite foods. I only started eating it a few years ago when I visited Turkey and then started eating at Turkish restaurants when I returned. It has a lot more flavour than chicken, but is just as easy to cook.
The turkish way is to season with lots of salt, pepper, oregano, a little red wine and lemon juice, then grill them. If you're going to do that, then you just need to mix it up into a paste and paint it onto the bird before cooking. They need to be eaten with fingers as they are too small and fiddly to eat with cutlery, but that just adds to the experience. I think these go well with onion salad. They have a strong meaty flavour and as they are not very big, it's perfectly feasible to have one as a starter, or have a few for a main.
I have been roasting them as well to eat as a starter. The meat from them is so tasty that they don't really need any flavourings other than normal seasoning, unlike chicken which if it isn't flavoured with something tends to not really have much of a flavour. They don't need to be cooked for long, so if you're going to roast them then make sure you keep an eye on them. About 30 minutes in a 450 degree oven is enough.
Another very simple way to cook them is cut down the backbone, flatten them, put lots of salt and pepper on and cook them on a barbecue. They take minutes to cook as they are so small. You do need to cut and split them though to ensure that they cook evenly.
Quail eggs are a lot smaller than chicken eggs, you can have probably 2-3 for each chickens egg. When I used to be able to get hold of quail eggs easily, I used to fry 6 quail eggs and have them on toast. They have a far tastier yolk than chicken or duck eggs and are, like their mothers, absolutely delicious.
If you haven't eaten quail eggs, or quails themselves, then give them a try. If you like chicken, you'll love quail. They have a stronger, meatier flavour, without being overly gamey. If you're planning on having them in place of chicken, you'll need several as you don't get lots of meat off them, but it's definitely worth it in my opinion. Whether barbecued in the summer or roasted as a starter in the winter, they're equally delicious. I just wish I had one in front of me right now!