Quail in tarragon with winter rémoulade

Quail has a reputation for being fiddly and easy to overcook... this simple recipe takes out all the guesswork for perfectly tender and crisp quail.

Photo: John Paul Urizar

John Paul Urizar

The rule of thumb for a crisp-skinned and tender quail is a very hot oven for a very quick period of time. To get the most luscious crisp skin, however, we recommend patting the quail dry with a paper towel and leaving it in the fridge skin-side up on a wire rack for an hour before cooking.


Fennel and cabbage salad


1.Preheat oven to 220˚C. Combine quail, olive oil, zest, garlic and 1 tbsp tarragon in a large bowl; season to taste and toss well to coat.
2.Heat a large ovenproof frying pan over high heat, drizzle quail with extra olive oil and fry until browned (3-5 minutes each side), then transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 5 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, bake prosciutto on an oven tray lined with baking paper until crisp (5-7 minutes). Break into pieces.
4.For remoulade, place remoulade in a small bowl with remaining 1½ tbsp tarragon and cornichons, season to taste and stir to combine.
5.For fennel and cabbage salad, whisk olive oil, lemon zest and juice in a bowl. Add cabbage, fennel and shallots; season to taste and toss to combine. Cut quail in half and serve with salad, topped with shards of crisp prosciutto, scattered with extra tarragon and remoulade on the side.

Butterflied quail is available from selected supermarkets and butchers.

If unavailable, substitute chicken breast, chicken thigh or butterflied spatchcock.

Remoulade is available from select supermarkets and speciality food shops. If unavailable, substitute aïoli.


Related stories