Monday, June 18, 2012


Grilled Marinated Quail
Marinated quail in Asian Spices was part of the famous black plate that was offered at Vong Restaurant in New York.  It was served on a salad of shredded red cabbage and watercress and topped with fried leeks.   I've made the dish many times using frozen boneless quail.   However, recently, I visited a butcher where they were selling fresh whole quail.  I couldn't resist.   
Fresh Whole Quail
Since Vong closed several years ago and this was one of my favorite dishes, I revisited the recipe.  This time I made the quail on a grill-pan using a grill press. This recipe is adapted from the cookbook, Jean-Georges, Cooking at Home with a Four Star Chef.     

1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
1 Tablespoon five-spice powder
1 Tablespoon palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon coarse pepper
2 Quail, whole*
Canola or grape seed oil

Combine the soy sauce with the water, shallots, rice vinegar, five-spice powder, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and peppercorns. Simmer over moderately high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cool to room temperature.  Strain the marinade into a bowl.  Add the quail.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
Marinated Quail
Remove the quail from the marinade and pat dry.  Cut each down it's backbone to make one large flat piece.

Quail Under Press
Grilled Quail
Heat the oil in a grill pan. Add the quail, skin-side down.  Place a weight on top of the quail and cook over high heat until the skin is browned and the meat is rare, about 4-5 minutes.  Turn quail over and brown the other side for another 2 minutes or until quail are cooked through.  Serve hot, with a salad.
On a Salad
*If fresh whole quail are not available, then frozen semi-boneless quail are fine.  Of course, completely thaw quail before marinating.

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