Preparation time: 10 mins, plus 2-3 hour marinating
Cooking time: 5 mins
Looking for an alternative preparation for quail? Or perhaps not tried cooking quail before? This is a quick and simple recipe may well be what you’re after. It uses shichimi – a Japanese 7-spice mix including ground red chilli, ground sansho (Japanese pepper) and roasted orange peel. It can be found in most Asian supermarkets, but if you can’t get your hands on some,you can simply make up your own mix of chilli flakes, white pepper and orange zest – which works equally well.
2 good-sized free range quails, broken down into 4 supremes (breasts with wing bone attached) and 4 legs
1 tbsp shichimi
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp sea salt
zest of ½ an orange
100g plain flour
500ml vegetable oil, for frying
1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the pieces of quail with half each of the shichimi, pepper and salt. Add the milk and mix together well. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate for 2-3 hours in the fridge.
2. Once the quail has marinated, just before you're ready to flour and fry the quail, add the vegetable oil to a medium sized saucepan, and place over a medium-high heat to bring up to frying temperature – around 180C. (Test with a small piece of bread, which should brown after about a minute.)
2. Very carefully, fry the quail in two batches, starting with the legs. Add the pieces to the hot oil gently and carefully, lowering them in gently with a slotted spoon to avoid any unwanted splashes. Cook for 2-3 mins until nice and golden, turning often to ensure they cook evenly. Using a slotted spoon, remove the legs, allowing the excess oil to drain over the saucepan briefly, before transferring to a wire rack to rest.
To serve, slice each breast in half and arrange on a serving dish along with the legs. Zest half an orange over the top and sprinkle over a little more shichimi. They are perfect served alongside dressed salad leaves and a glass of bubbles. Enjoy!
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Norfolk Free To Fly Quail available from, and prepared by, The Butchery Ltd.