The first time I made this recipe, I used frozen quail from my grocery store. I did not realize that they were preseasoned because I had purchased the same brand in the past that were not. That was before I learned to read package labels very carefully. For me, they were way too salty, but I am salt-sensitive. For most people, they probably would have been fine. Point being that, if you can get unseasoned quail, do so. If not, do not add any salt to the marinade. Either way, this is a delicious main dish and, other than the marinating time, very quick and easy for a family dinner, special occasion or elegant entertaining. Make the recipe in any amount desired, allowing two quail per person. It can also be cooked indoors with a grill pan, skillet or under the broiler.
- 8 quail (4 to 5 ounces each), split open at the backbone to lay flat
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth
- 1 tablespoon juniper berries, smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves (fresh or dried)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Place quail in one layer in baking dish. Mix the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Pour over quail, turning to make sure both sides are coated. Cover and refrigerate for one hour or up to several hours. Heat an outdoor grill. Grill the quail until done, about 10 minutes on the skin side and 5 minutes on the other side, or until the juices run clear when pricked with a fork. Tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes. Serve immediately.