Heat half the olive oil in a large frying pan, add onion and sauté over low heat until caramelised (7-8 minutes), add 60ml sherry and reduce by half (4-5 minutes), then stir in dried figs and breadcrumbs, season to taste and set aside to cool completely.
Preheat oven to 200C. Season quail cavities, spoon breadcrumb mixture into each, tie legs together with kitchen string. Heat remaining olive oil in a large ovenproof frying pan over medium heat, add quail, turn occasionally until browned all over (4-5 minutes), transfer to an oven and roast until just cooked through (8-10 minutes). Remove quail from pan, keep warm.
Meanwhile, for caramelised figs, sprinkle sugar on cut-side of figs and place, sugared-side down, in a frying pan. Cook over medium heat until figs start to caramelise (1-2 minutes), deglaze pan with sherry, set aside.
Add remaining 120ml sherry to quail pan with caramelised fig pan juices, simmer over medium heat until reduced to a thick syrup (2-3 minutes), season to taste. Serve quail immediately with caramelised figs, drizzled with pan juices.
Note You'll need to order tunnel-boned quail in
advance from your butcher.