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Hoisin Quail

by . Featured in NIGELLA SUMMER
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Introduction

I love these sweet and meaty quail, conker-shiny in their vaguely Chinesey marinade. As often as not, I grill them rather than barbecue them; even a blitz in a very hot oven will do. The thing is to marinate them for a good long time - at least 24 hours - so that they keep fleshy and juicy and meltingly tender no matter how brutally you cook them.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

I love these sweet and meaty quail, conker-shiny in their vaguely Chinesey marinade. As often as not, I grill them rather than barbecue them; even a blitz in a very hot oven will do. The thing is to marinate them for a good long time - at least 24 hours - so that they keep fleshy and juicy and meltingly tender no matter how brutally you cook them.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Barbecued Quail
Photo by Petrina Tinslay

Ingredients

Serves: 4-5

Metric Cups
  • 10 quail
  • 125 millilitres soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons roasted sesame oil
  • 250 grams hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 x 5 centimetres piece of fresh ginger (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 10 quail
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ⅓ cup roasted asian sesame oil
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 inches piece of fresh gingerroot (minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • juice of 1 orange

Method

  1. You need the quail to be spatchcocked which is, given their poor little frail bones, a very easy job. First trim their wing tips with a pair of kitchen shears or, frankly, scissors, then cut along both sides of the backbone, remove it, and squish each quail down flat.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a large measuring jug, whisk to mix, then divide the mixture between two large freezer bags. Chuck in the flattened quail, half in each, then tie up the bags; or you can simply lay the quail in a couple of dishes, pour the marinade over and cover with clingfilm. Leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours; 48 wouldn't hurt.
  3. Make sure you take them out of the fridge in enough time to get to room temperature before you cook them. They shouldn't need more than 10 minutes on a hot barbecue, under a hot grill or in a very hot oven.
  1. You need the quail to be spatchcocked which is, given their poor little frail bones, a very easy job. First trim their wing tips with a pair of kitchen shears or, frankly, scissors, then cut along both sides of the backbone, remove it, and squish each quail down flat.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a large measuring jug, whisk to mix, then divide the mixture between two large freezer bags. Chuck in the flattened quail, half in each, then tie up the bags; or you can simply lay the quail in a couple of dishes, pour the marinade over and cover with clingfilm. Leave in the fridge for at least 24 hours; 48 wouldn't hurt.
  3. Make sure you take them out of the fridge in enough time to get to room temperature before you cook them. They shouldn't need more than 10 minutes on a hot barbecue, under a hot grill or in a very hot oven.

Additional Information

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
Leftovers will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days. Transfer leftovers to the fridge as soon as possible and within 2 hours of cooking. Eat cold.

MAKE AHEAD / STORE:
Leftovers will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days. Transfer leftovers to the fridge as soon as possible and within 2 hours of cooking. Eat cold.

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