I love cooking quail. People think of it as fancy food, but I happen to think they’re much better cooked and eaten at home so you pick them up with your fingers and not need to worry about the fussiness of eating in a restaurant. They have lovely flavour and are something a little different.
The slightly gamey flavour of quail works beautifully with the flavours of Tasmania’s pepperberry. The pepperberry leaf provides a herby flavour and the pepperberries have an almost juniper taste. Both have a good peppery kick but the quantities used here won’t be too hot. Feel free to up the ante if you like more of a kick. You could probably double the quantity of each before it got too out of control.
I think that one bird serves one person, as long as you have some good, hearty accompaniments. Others may disagree. I served these with a roast beetroot, walnut and goat cheese salad and potato galette. Everyone enjoyed them.
Serves 4 (with generous/hearty accompaniments)
|1/2||teaspoon||ground pepperberry leaf|
Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut down one side of the backbone, then cut down the other and remove it. (You can reserve these to make stock for a gravy.) Lay the quail skin side up on a chopping board and press down firmly with the ball of your hand to break the ribs and flatten the quail out a little. This will aid the cooking process.
Combine all remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add the quail to the marinade and thoroughly coat them. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Remove the quail from the fridge 15 minutes before you want to begin cooking them. Preheat your barbeque on high heat. When it comes to temperature, cook the quail for 12 minutes with the lid down, turning them once. Remove the quail from the barbeque, cover and leave them to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes. Serve