Quails are from the order of birds known as Galliformes, of which many species are known to be regularly eaten by man. The smallest species of its order, quail are most commonly seen around Europe, migrating to Africa when the winter winds start blowing. These birds of prey are difficult to find in nature but are quite known for being easy to breed.
Although your everyday groceries may not carry quail, online groceries specializing in African products just might. Their small, round frames are perfect for a decent lunch—with bones small enough to be eaten with the meat as well. Its meat is quite tender and the flavor is faintly similar to that of its popular cousin, the chicken, albeit more flavorful.
Its preparation is mainly similar to that of chicken, but the smaller size makes it perfect for pan-frying. In order to truly enjoy the experience of eating quail, adding some relish and sauce are the best flavor notes to mix into cooking.
For this guide, the dish to be prepared is spicy Moroccan quail with rose-petal sauce and cucumber relish. There will be three parts of this recipe, the preparation of the cucumber relish, the cooking of the quail, and the addition of the rose-petal sauce.
Spicy Moroccan Quail with Rose-petal Sauce and Cucumber Relish
Total Preparation and Cook Time: 40 Minutes
|For The Moroccan Quail||For The Rose-petal Sauce||For The Cucumber Relish|
|2 teaspoons rosewater||3 tablespoons rose petal jam||2 teaspoons lemon juice|
|1 teaspoon ground cumin||1 teaspoon white wine vinegar||1 tablespoon olive oil|
|1 teaspoon ground cinnamon||1 garlic clove (crushed)||1/2 red onion (thinly sliced)|
|2 tablespoons lemon juice||1 tablespoon mint (finely chopped)||1/2 telegraph cucumber (seeds removed, thinly sliced)|
|1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil||1 cup coriander leaves|
|4 butterflied quail**||1 tablespoon pomegranate syrup****|
*The total ingredients are tailored for groups of four people.
**Have the quail professionally cut by a butcher. The small size makes for difficult cutting, especially when raw.
***To be added upon serving.
****Optional addition for flavor
The Cucumber Relish
The cucumber relish is quite easy to make and adds a distinct refreshing flavor note to the spiciness of the dish. Simply mix all the ingredients in a bowl, and set it aside. This step is best done first in order to focus mainly on the quail, allowing for a quick set-up as soon as the quail is fully cooked.
Take note that the pomegranate syrup is optional, add only depending on your taste.
The Moroccan Quail
- Mix the rosewater, spices, and lemon juice with a tablespoon of oil in a bowl. Add some salt and pepper for additional flavoring. Toss the quail in the bowl and coat it with the seasoning.
- Use a non-stick frypan and heat one tablespoon of oil on medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is warm enough, place the seasoned quail in the pan and cook it with the skin-side face-down. Cook for around two to three minutes until the skin is golden brown. Flip it over and let the rest of the quail cook for another two to three minutes.
- As soon as each quail is cooked clean through, set aside and start on the sauce.
The Rose-Petal Sauce
- In a separate pan, mix the rose petal jam with the vinegar, garlic, and one tablespoon of oil.
- Heat the contents on a low heat until the mixture has a loose consistency.
- Once the consistency is satisfactory, stir in some mint and turn off the heat.
The Meal Setting
Serve the quail on couscous and drizzle the sauce all over the chicken. Set the relish on the side for a great complimentary taste to the Moroccan quail’s spicy aftertaste. This meal is perfect for those who love chicken but are tired of the common everyday preparation of the popular fried viand.
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