Chef Folse's Orange-Braised Quail with Bayberry

Chef Folse's Orange-Braised Quail with Bayberry

Prep Time: 2½ Hours

Yields: 6 Servings


12 quail, semi-boneless

18 bayberry or small bay leaves, divided

grated zest of 2 oranges

juice of 4 oranges

sea salt and black pepper to taste

granulated garlic to taste

12 cloves garlic, peeled

1 tsp ground coriander

¼ cup brandy

2 tbsps olive oil

6 slices bacon, chopped

1 cup diced onions

½ cup diced celery

½ cup diced bell peppers

2 tbsps minced garlic

½ cup diced carrots

1½ cups dry red wine

2 cups chicken stock (see recipe)

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary

½ cup seedless blackberry jelly


Working on a clean surface, season the inner cavity of each quail lightly with salt, pepper and granulated garlic. Stuff each cavity with 1 bayberry leaf and 1 clove garlic. Truss each quail then place in a large bowl. Sprinkle quail evenly with orange zest and coriander. Add brandy and toss to coat well. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 325°F. Remove quail from bowl and gently pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt, pepper and granulated garlic then set aside. In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook 5–7 minutes or until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from pot and set aside on paper towels to drain. Working in batches of 4, add quail to hot fat in pot and sear 3–5 minutes or until browned, turning once. Using tongs, remove quail from pot and set aside. Continue until all quail are browned. To the drippings in pot, add onions, celery, bell peppers, minced garlic and carrots and cook 5–7 minutes or until caramelized, stirring occasionally. Return quail and bacon to pot then add orange juice, wine and stock. Bring to a boil, skimming off any impurities that rise to the surface. Add 2 bayberry leaves, thyme and rosemary. Cover pot, place in oven and bake 45–50 minutes or until quail are fork-tender. Remove from oven and transfer quail to a serving platter. Set aside and keep warm. Carefully strain cooking liquid into a clean saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Cook 5–7 minutes or until slightly reduced. Whisk in blackberry jelly and cook 5–7 minutes or until a sauce-like consistency is achieved. Adjust seasonings to taste with salt and pepper. Drizzle sauce over quail, garnish with remaining bayberry leaves and serve immediately.

SIDEBAR: Small birds such as pheasant or quail are often prepared semi-boneless for ease of eating. To partially bone quail, remove only the large bones in the body cavity, leaving the wings and leg bones attached.