Quail and peaches are like a pretzel and cheese – they just belong together. Quail has a delicate flavor that pairs beautifully with peaches, or any stone fruit for that matter. Often, I use whatever fruit is in season to get the freshest flavors.
My favorite way to eat and prepare the quail is to semi-bone the quail for even cooking. You could even take the opportunity after semi-boning to marinate the quail for a few hours in a buttermilk and hot sauce mixture. Quail is never tough, so marinating would be simply for added flavor.
With quail, remember: Simple is Always Best. The delicate meat doesn’t need a lot of anything; a little butter or oil, salt, and pepper are all you’ll need to create a delicious whole food meal from the wild.
- 4 semi-boneless quail
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 rip peaches, seeded and halved
- 8 ripe figs, halved
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish basil leaves, finely chopped
Heat grill or grill pan. Brush melted butter on both sides of the quail. Liberally salt and pepper the quail on both sides. When the grill is smoking hot, place quail on the grill for 3 minutes, then turn for about 2 minutes more, or until golden brown. Remove to a plate to rest.
Pack brown sugar into the cavity of the halved peaches and sprinkle on the flesh of the halved figs. Place the fruit skin side down on the grill for about 5 minutes. Turn fruit over and cook until the brown sugar is caramelized, about 3 to 4 minutes for the peaches and 2 for the figs. Remove the fruit from the grill and top with chopped basil. Divide the quail, peaches, and figs among 4 plates. Serve with a wild rice salad.
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