Cider-Glazed Quail with Sausage & Apple Stuffing

Who’s been hunting?!  Here in Texas we are in the midst of quail season, and if you have not given this little bird a chance — you are missin’ out!

There are so many ways to prepare quail.  You can steam ’em, grill ’em, and of course roast ’em.  I prefer roasting to any other cooking method — and in this recipe you get a beautiful presentation because the birds are stuffed.  What makes this recipe even better is that they are chock-full of savory flavors — inside and out.  Sounds like a winner, winner…umm…quail dinner?  🙂

Ingredients

  • 4 whole quail
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 6 oz Italian sausage, I use Mulay’s Sausage
  • 1 small apple (I used Gala), finely chopped
  • 1/4 c. pecans, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. apple cider
  • 1 tbsp. raw honey
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Process

  1. Start by rinsing your quail, pat them dry with a paper towel.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add shallot and stir until translucent.
  3. Add the Italian sausage and break up with a wooden spoon until it is finely crumbled.  I used two links of Mulay’s Italian sausage because after the casing is removed it crumbles much easier than the ground version.  Use whatever you prefer.  Continue to cook sausage until it is browned.
  4. Add apple, pecans and thyme.  Stir to combine and let the apple cook down a bit — 3-5 minutes.
  5. Set the stuffing aside and let it cool slightly.  Meanwhile, whisk together the apple cider and honey in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
  6. Allow the cider/honey mixture to come to a boil and let it simmer until it reduces by half.  This will be 5-10 minutes.  Once your glaze has reduced, remove from heat and add the tablespoon of butter.  Whisk until butter is melted and well combined.
  7. Sprinkle salt and pepper over each bird.  Carefully stuff each cavity with your stuffing — don’t pack it in, but you should use over half of your stuffing.
  8. Tie each quail’s legs together with kitchen twine.  If you don’t have any don’t worry about it.
  9. Brush birds with the cider/honey glaze.  Roast them in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Remove the birds.  Set your oven to broil, and brush them with more glaze.  Place them under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.  This gives them a nice crispy outside and caramelizes the honey!  Remove them and brush with glaze a final time.
  11. Serve each quail over a bed of the stuffing you have left over.
  12. Enjoy!

 

quail on plate

quail in roasting pan

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