Quails with Honey

I’ve heard it’s all rumours’ is the latest album of that British indie rock band from Devon called, aptly, The Quails. Perhaps you haven’t heard of them yet, but there’s a chance you might soon enough. According to the “independent family-owned newspaper” issued in their hometown of Teignmouth: “The Quails are fast gaining a reputation as one of the most impressive bands to emerge recently”. Bless.

Anyway if they do make it big one day, remember that you first heard about them in this space. And actually a close look at these rock boys, smallish, plumpish, with chubby cheeks and spiky quiffs, sort of remind one of quails – the bird version. They too are small, plump although of course unlike the rockers, come with brown plumage and a short tail.

Taste of Home has sparked off this new year with a lovely delicious recipe of quails wrapped in rashers of streaky bacon.
At just about 200 grammes each quail is one of the smallest game birds. A key advantage is that, being so small, they cook quickly. However their size also means that preparation can be fiddly, which is why it is best if they are purchased part-boned, with the rib cage and breast bone removed, so as to minimize preparation time.

Quails are richer in flavour than chicken but are comparatively mild for a game species. They pick up flavours from marinades quickly, so one has to be especially careful of marinades that are high in salt, and which is why Chef Mark Triganza opted for a touch of honey in the marinade.
Since you can find quails on the menus of the world’s best restaurants, this recipe will make your kitchen and dining room the “in place” to be. And there is no question about it, it will fast gain you a reputation as one of the most impressive, err, hosts, to emerge recently.

Ingredients:

  • 4 quails
  • 8 bacon rashers
  • 3 onions
  • 2 lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • honey
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • a glass of red wine
  • 2 oranges

Serves 4

Preparation time: 20 min

Cooking time:40 min

 

 

Method:

Juice two oranges and add a tablespoon of honey to the juice of an orange. Stir in some orange zest. Slice the lemons in half and stuff the quails. Brush the quails with the honey and orange mixture. Spread the bacon rashers in a dish and put quails on the bacon. Place a bay leaf on each quail. Spread the sliced onions and garlic over the quails. Season. Pour remaining orange and honey sauce over the quails. Add the olive oil and a glass of red wine. Cover dish in foil and place in over at 180 C for 40 minutes.