24 birds, in 4-bird packs
Semi-boneless quail have had their torso bones removed, but are otherwise whole. This makes them easier to work with and eat, faster cooking, and ideal for stuffing. Because their spines, wing bones and leg bones are left intact, they still maintain much of their shape for a great plate presentation.
Quail’s light colored meat is tender and succulent with a delicate, sweet and distinctly nutty flavor. The smallest of the game birds, a common single serving of quail is two whole birds. Easy to grill or roast whole, they can also be braised or sautéed.
Quail meat is enjoyed in a host of European, Middle Eastern, and even Southeast Asian cuisines, and pairs well with a variety of spices and flavors.
Imperial and Regular are quail sizing grades. Imperial quail are noticeably larger than Regular.
These quail have been air chilled, a method preferred by chefs because it better preserves the bird’s flavor, lets the meat absorb marinades better, doesn’t add water weight, and is more environmentally friendly (produces less contaminated water) than water chilling, which is used for most poultry.
Store partially deboned quail frozen until you need them, then defrost completely before cooking.
RECIPES & TIPS
Quail can be smoked, roasted, baked, sautéed, barbecued, braised, pan roasted, broiled or fried. Because they are so lean, they are frequently barded (wrapped in bacon) or brined prior to being cooked. Semi-boneless quail are particularly well-suited to stuffing.
One reason why quail is enjoyed in so many disparate cuisines is its ability to pair well with a wide variety of flavors. Try preparing quail with nuts (pistachios, walnuts, pine nuts, chestnuts or blanched almonds), fruit (grapes, figs, pears or pomegranates), piquant spices like cinnamon, ginger, saffron, green cardamom or cumin, or other ingredients like chilies, soy sauce, honey, thyme, brandy, Dijon mustard or wild mushrooms. For the ultimate quail dish, serve them with white truffles.