Quail is such a tiny game bird and the first time I saw it featherless (naked) I had a minor food culture shock! A matured Quail is about the size of a clenched fist of a matured adult woman. It’s bone structure and meat colour is just like chicken . Also just like the Guinea Fowl, the feathers surrounding the bird is so deceptive. Strip off those feathers and the true self of this quaint and tasty bird is revealed 😀 . Did I also mention that the size of a quail bird is even tinier than a chicken egg? Its about two inches bigger than a lizard egg. I hope you aren’t grossed out but its actually small and easy to pop into your mouth. I ate four quail eggs the first time I cooked a batch. There’s a whole revolution of quail farming in Ghana which is super exciting to see! The health benefits of Quail eggs are being touted all over the country and filling up on shelves in major supermarkets as well.
Quail is an easy bird to spice and cook but there are tastier and more fun ways to prepare it for maximum taste. The bird is very lean which makes it super healthy and a great substitute for chicken. This also means spicing it will be easier.
Quail has it’s own unique taste of the ‘wild’ and adding mild herbs such as thyme and oregano makes it so much more flavourful.
Herbs to use include Thyme, Rosemary, Oregano and Sage. You can combine Thyme and Rosemary with garlic and onions as the aromatics and rock salt. Best to keep it simple so as not to overwhelm the natural taste.
Aniseed which is easily found in our local market- osu konn or nkitinkiti as they are known in Ga and Akan respectively – also adds a mild exquisiteness to the meat especially when combined with freshly ground cayenne pepper, garlic and onions.
You can choose to fry, bake, roast, braise or boil quail. For roasting, such a small bird doesn’t require a prolonged time in the oven. If you decide to fry it also doesn’t take much time. I however personally prefer roasting it in the oven. Oil up a glass baking dish and arrange the trussed up spiced quail in it.
Lightly brush it with olive oil before placing it in the oven. Quail is done in 20minutes when being cooked in the oven.
Quail also tastes great when stuffed with all kinds of interesting stuffings such as vegetables, fonio mixed with vegetables etc. That would definitely make things more interesting.
Due to it’s quaint nature, don’t be shy eating quail with your fingers. Cutlery just won’t do the work.
If you have never enjoyed Quail, then now is your opportunity to actually try it at home because it’s super easy to cook.
Have you eaten Quail meat before? What did you think? Share in the comments below.