Hill Country Honey Bacon Quail

By • March 4, 2015 4 Comments

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Author Notes: Here in central Texas we have a bounty of local goodies that just make cooking more fun - including semi-boneless quail from right down the road in Lockhart, local honey that often carries a whiff of wild flowers and mesquite, and locally cured bacon from any number of places (and soon from my own home - thank you Mrs. Wheelbarrow!), green onion and thyme from our back yard. Really, starting with ingredients like these you can't go terribly wrong ...aargersi


Serves 4

  • 4 semi boneless quail
  • 2-3 slices of bacon (mine were very long so I used 2)
  • 1/4 cup finely diced shallot (one very large shallot)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 pinches aleppo pepper (or sub pepper flakes if you can't get your hands on aleppo - they will be spicier, a hint of heat is a good thing)
  • 2-3 pinches salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1-2 sliced green onions (I used 1 but ours are huge)
  1. Lightly season the quail on both sides with salt and set aside. Crisp the bacon up in a large non-stick skillet big enough to later accommodate the 4 quail. Remove it and set aside. Leave the fat in there.
  2. Add the olive oil to the pan and set the heat medium-high. Add the shallots and cook them until they are just clear, 3 or 4 minutes. Now push the shallots to the edges and add in the quail breast side down. Let them brown to just golden on one side . This won't take long, just a few minutes. You don't want to over cook the quail, they can get a bit of a livery flavor if you do, and they don't need anywhere near the cook time of other birds. Flip the quail and add the Aleppo pepper, thyme, honey and wine. Now turn the heat down a bit and let this all reduce to a nice glaze. Flip the quail back and forth a few times so that they get glazed all over, and taste for salt. They will look like an odd shiny little dance troupe in the pan, which makes it more fun to cook them. Your total cook time will be around 10 minutes or so. In the last minute, add the green onions to just barely cook them, and finish them with the bacon that you have crumbled up.
  3. If the look of the whole quail weirds you out, half them to serve (over lentils is nice) or if you are a sick twist like me just arrange them doing the jitterbug on your plate and dig in.

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