Recipes/Balsamic Quail

Balsamic Quail
Zesta Cucina

Presented by: Chef Derrin Davis, from Zesta Cucina, Yakima

serves 4


  • 4 whole jumbo quail (6 to 8 ounces each)
  • 2 small garlic cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon juniper berries
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons corn or canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic syrup
  • 4 Tablespoons veal demi-glace


Preheat oven to 500°F. With poultry shears or a sharp knife, cut off necks, feet, and first 2 wing joints of each quail and discard. Finely chop garlic. Finely chop juniper berries and sprinkle half inside quail. Season quail inside and out with pepper and salt.

In a 12-inch ovenproof skillet, heat oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Add quail, breast sides down, and brown on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer quail to a plate and wipe skillet clean. In skillet melt butter and add quail, breast sides up. Transfer quail to middle of oven and roast, basting twice, until meat is pink for medium-rare, about 8 minutes. Transfer quail to a platter. Add garlic and remaining juniper berries to skillet and cook over low heat, stirring, 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Remove skillet from heat and stir in vinegar syrup, demi-glace and any quail juices that have accumulated on platter. Spoon sauce over quail.


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