Baked Roaring Fork Smuggler Quail

Here’s what I made tonight:  “Baked Roaring Fork Smuggler Quail”  Simple, easy, yummy.

First thing I did was take the dressed quail and separate the drumsticks from the breasts.

Then I took the rest of the bird and set it on the cutting board so the breasts were facing up and pushed down with my fingers to crack the bones so the breasts lay flatter.  This will make it easier to pan sear them later.  The one on the right has not been flattened, the one on the left has been.

A quick dash of salt, pepper and garlic powder and they were ready for the pan.

I heated up a frying pan to medium-high heat with olive oil and got the oven heated up to 350.  Then I simply pan seared the breasts in the frying pan, breast side down first, then I flip them.
pan seared quail breast

When the breasts were close to being done I tossed in the drumsticks.  The drumsticks are small and cook faster than the breasts.
searing quail breasts and drumsticks

Then I took everything and put it in an oil-coated baking pan and splashed some of my favorite seasoning on it, plus a few hunks of butter.
quail in a pan

I used Roaring Fork’s “Smuggler Sweet BBQ Blend” this time.  Roaring Fork Spice Co. is an outfit that we ran into at a farmers market in Glenwood Springs, CO this summer and we were actually their very first customers – cool!  Their spice blends are great and I highly recommend them.

Then the pan got covered tightly with foil and baked in the oven for 20 minutes.

The kitchen filled with aroma of awesome yumminess.  This turned out great.  Serve with a tomato basil salad and some steamed rice…..oh yeah.
baked quail done

Hey, if you have any recipes, share then in the comments.  I’m always looking for new ideas!

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Quail Egg Scissors or Cutters

If you want to fry up some quail eggs for breakfast you just crack them open and pour them in the frying pan, right?  No.  You need to CUT them open because there is a fairly tough membrane underneath the shell that is much stronger than chicken eggs.  If you smack a quail egg on the side of your frying pan you will quickly find this out.

To solve this problem, clever humans have invented quail egg scissors or cutters.  Just insert the FAT end of the egg into the round part of the cutter and slice it off like you are using a pair of scissors.  Don’t worry, you won’t cut the yolk.  Then just pour the contents of the egg where you need it.

These are what I use.  They’re only about $10 on Amazon and ship free with Prime.
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You can find cheaper ones, but having a good set of cutters is a good investment for a few extra bucks.

I have found deals on eBay for 3 pairs of cheaply made cutters for $10 or so, but you get what you pay for there.  I order a few sets of these every so often and just give a pair of cutters to someone who is interested in trying my eggs for the first time.

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Scotch Quail Eggs

With a giant surplus of quail eggs I am always looking for new ways to use these little treasures.  I came across a recipe for “Scotch Eggs”.  They sounded yummy so I tried making some with quail eggs.

First, I hard boiled 20 quail eggs.  Just put them in cold water in a sauce pan and bring the water to a boil.  Let the eggs simmer in boiling water for about 5 minutes.  I live at 9,000 feet elevation, so you may need to adjust your timing a bit.  Go a little longer for harder yolks and a little shorter for softer or even runny yolks.  To each his own.

I keep reading that “you should constantly stir quail eggs while boiling so the yolk doesn’t settle on one side”.  I call BS on this.  I’ve stirred and not stirred and had the exact same results every time, so I no longer bother stirring while boiling my quail eggs.

quail eggs boiling

Next, remove the eggs from the stove and run them under cold water so they cool off.  I usually run water into the pan until the water is cool and then let the eggs sit in water for a while, sometimes hours – it won’t hurt them.

Next is the super-fun part.  Peeling the eggs!  Here’s a little tip that might help.

Once the eggs are cool, roll them gently on your counter to break the shell all over and pinch off the fat end of the shell.  Then toss the egg back into the cool water for a while.  This lets water get in between the shell/membrane and the egg, making it easier to peel later.

OK, so all of your eggs are finally peeled.  Get some ground sausage and make a bunch of patties big enough that you can cover a quail egg with them.  Honestly, I made my sausage patties a little too thick the first time, but they were still yummy.

Season your sausage any way you want.  I bought “hot jalapeno breakfast sausage” for my first try so I didn’t bother seasoning it any further.

Put each egg in the center of a sausage patty and encase each egg with the sausage by rolling it into a ball.
egg in sausageegg sausage balls

Roll the ball in some flour to lightly coat it, dip into some beaten eggs (quail eggs, of course) and then give them a good coating of bread crumbs.  The process goes right to left in the picture.
scotch egg prep

Now they’re ready to cook.
scotch eggs ready to cook
I used a pretty standard Hamilton Beach Deep Fryer set at 375 and let them cook for about 4-5 minutes.  You could pan fry these as well, but I haven’t done that.

When they are golden brown and crispy on the outside, pull them out and let them sit for a minute or two, then dig in.  Depending on what kind of sausage you use, a variety of dipping sauces can be served with them (ranch, blue cheese, fancy mustard, etc.).
scotch eggs cookedsliced scotch egg

I used “hot jalapeno breakfast sausage” for mine the first time, but I think a sweeter sausage might be a better choice for next time.

Give it a try!

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