Grilling quail this way gives the bird a charred, smoky flavor that goes well with the sweet-and-spicy hot honey glaze. Quails are typically sold semi-boned at speciality shops or butchers.
To learn more, read "Native Flavor."
Grilled Quail with Red Chile Honey
Recipe adapted from Lois Ellen Frank
Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes, plus marinating time
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes, plus marinating time
For the Marinade:
12 semi-boned quails, wings removed
2 tablespoons fresh sage, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1½ tablespoons chipotle chile powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 serrano chiles, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup olive oil
For the Red Chile Honey Glaze:
4 dried red New Mexico or Anaheim chiles—stemmed, seeded and broken into small pieces
1 cup water
½ cup honey
Pinch kosher salt
1. Rinse each quail under cold running water and pat dry.
2. Marinate the quail: In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine the sage, parsley, rosemary, lemon zest, chile powder, salt, black pepper, garlic, serrano chiles and olive oil. Add the quail and toss, making sure each quail is thoroughly coated. Cover and place in the refrigerate and marinate for at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
3. Make the red chile honey glaze: In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the chiles and water. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes. Transfer to a blender, add the honey and salt, and purée until smooth.
4. Pour the red chile honey through a fine-mesh sieve to remove the chile skins. Discard the skins and reserve the glaze. Makes 1 cup.
5. Preheat the oven to 350° and remove the quail from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.
6. Heat a large grill pan over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Working in 2 batches, cook the quail, flipping once until brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from the heat.
7. Use half of the glaze to brush both sides of each quail and transfer them to a shallow roasting pan. Roast the quail in the oven, uncovered, until cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let rest for 10 minutes before serving with the remaining glaze.