Although the picture above is a little bird (quail) wrapped in panchetta and served on a plate- the taste defiantly makes up for the scrawny looking legs on this little guy!
My mum first introduced my sister and I to quail when we lived in Tassie. Mum was the owner (along with dad) and chef of Bonney's Inn- a beautiful old colonial building in a small Tasmanian country town. When they first brought Bonney's, it was an accommodation house and tearooms.
This was a great starting point for mum as she was new to Tasmania (having come from Darwin) and the throws of a commercial kitchen. It wasn't long before mums natural cooking ability took over and the small tearoom couldn't showcase all her natural and obvious talent in the kitchen.
Bonney's Inn became a well known and very popular restaurant with people coming from all over Australia to sample mums culinary delights for 13 years. To this day she still gets asked about her sticky date pudding, steak and kidney pies, and not to mention her incredible 'Death by Chocolate'!
Perhaps it was one of mum's experiments that first introduced quail to my sister and I, what ever it was Tarsh and I haven't looked back and I know we both love to pull out a quail recipe to thrill dinner guests or just to suck on those skinny little leg bones and suck off every speck of sweet meat found on the wing...... that may even include eating the little bones!
Quail seems to be looked at as a speciality food and popped into the 'to hard' basket. I do believe this is a grave understatement. In Australia at least (and I am sure it must be so in America- I know Whole Foods has them), you buy quail in packets of 6 ready to go. They are cleaned and boned out. All that is really required of you is to make a yummy stuffing, season it with a few herbs, give them a splash of olive oil salt and pepper then pop them in the oven have a glass of wine then presto they are ready for you to consume.
And if you are looking for another easy WOW factor, simply serve the quail with steamed greens and a delicious potato gratin. You can make it before hand for ease and then pop it in the oven to warm up when the quails are almost done.
Next time you happen to see a pair for cute little quails all lined up in a row at the butcher or stuffed into a packet of 6, grab a few and give them a go, you'll be surprised at how easy they are to handle. My roast quail recipe will help even the most sceptical of you!