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Roast quail with polenta

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for roast quail with polenta.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 1 hr cooking plus resting
  • Serves 6
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Roast quail with polenta
Quail is best eaten in a hands-on manner; provide a finger bowl and encourage your guests to dive in. Use wide slices of prosciutto to wrap the quail well; otherwise use two thin slices for each.


  • 180 gm softened butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 4 rosemary sprigs, leaves only
  • 4 oregano sprigs, leaves coarsely torn
  • 4 sage sprigs, leaves coarsely torn
  • 6 jumbo quail
  • 6 wide (or 12 thin) slices of prosciutto
  • To serve: lemon wedges (optional)
Soft polenta
  • 800 ml chicken stock
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 170 gm (1 cup) polenta
  • 40 gm (½ cup) finely grated parmesan
  • 30 gm softened butter


  • 1
    For polenta, bring stock and milk to the boil in a saucepan over high heat. Add polenta in a thin, steady stream, whisking continuously until incorporated, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook, whisking occasionally, until thick and no longer grainy (20-25 minutes). Cover with a round of baking paper and keep warm. Just before serving, whisk in parmesan and butter and season to taste.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 220C. Melt butter in a saucepan over high heat, then cook until it turns nut-brown (2-4 minutes). Add garlic and herbs, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • 3
    Wash quail and pat dry with absorbent paper, wrap each in 1 wide or 2 thin prosciutto slices, then transfer to a small roasting pan. Brush quail with herb butter, season with freshly ground black pepper and roast until golden and just cooked through (20-25 minutes). Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
  • 4
    Divide polenta among warmed plates, top with quail, spoon herb butter on top and serve with lemon wedges on the side.


Drink Suggestion: Chianti or local sangiovese. Drink suggestion by Max Allen