View Full Version : Quail?

December 26, 2004, 04:43 PM
Just saw the craziest thing...

We've got alot of quail on my property, roughly 20 of them on our 2 1/2 acres... Or so I thought.

The other day, I spread a buncha birdseed around normal quail spots -- by the treess, near patches of weeds, also a bit around the yard... I let alot of seed spill between the main seeding areas... Well this morning, roughly 60+ quail moved their way along the exact path that I had seeded... There were so many that when something spooked them and they all took off, it sounded like that mute "fwump fwump fwumping" of a helicopter's blades spinning to a stop.

Maybe it had to do with our snow being a few weeks overdue? Anyways, all this has got me thinking... From field to plate, how do you prep/skin and cook a quail?

Will a .22 leave any meat behind? :(

bill k
December 26, 2004, 04:53 PM
I hope you can hit them in the head, if so just pop out the breast. I just make a little cut at the breat bone and pull the breast out, use wire cutters to cut them out were the wings connect. Have someone show you, it's kinda hard to explain. I generally take a minute or two a bird. You end up with a skinless breast.
Other people I've see pluck and clean about a half hour a bird.

December 26, 2004, 04:55 PM
Forgot to ask... Do they taste any good?

December 26, 2004, 06:51 PM
If you pluck the bird immediately it will be easier, or you could skin it. While most of the meat is on the breast the rest can be used for sauces and things.It tastes better than chicken.

bill k
December 26, 2004, 07:28 PM
They taste great, Salt, pepper, garlic then mainade in tereaki (spelled something like that) Bar-B-que till done. If you do the entire bird cook it med well done you can eat it all meat, bones etc. Serve with wild rice and a merlot. If you have a girlfriend you'll probly get lucky.

December 26, 2004, 07:43 PM
Quail is my absolute favorite game meat! Unlike some others, I think there is enough meat that the legs are also worth skinning. The Wife fries 'em like chicken. And makes gravey. Yum.

Goose, duck, ect. she won't even let me bring in the house. But quail ... she's gets downright testy if I make the mistake of telling her I'm going quail hunting and I don't come home with some. She told me last week that if I don't get several next time, I better stop by the meat counter at grocery store before I come home ... As if on such days, the quail have not humiliated me enough already ... :o Another problem is the guys I hunt 'em with also have families who love to eat quail ...

December 26, 2004, 09:18 PM
I'd recommend a gauge not a .22

I breast them out same as a Dove, stick your thumb up the arse and peel the breast back. Remove skin and your done.

Fry like a chicken.

Can't be beat.


December 26, 2004, 09:55 PM
I don't have any shotguns, lol... Besides... I can keep a .22 quiet and out the neighbors' sight...

December 26, 2004, 10:12 PM
can you trap them? maybe give them some permanent home? their eggs are quite good.

December 26, 2004, 10:44 PM
I don't think I could stand keeping an animal captive... I'd rather let it live a happy life outside, with the aid of some birdseed, and then shoot it before it knows what's happened...

December 26, 2004, 11:34 PM
IMHO the only thing that compares to Quail is Ruffed Grouse. Basically the same bird only larger. Plus they are a bit more difficult to hunt because they often won't 'hold' like quail do.
If you find you've got some larger quail I like to use a kitchen shears and simply cut the back bone out. That way you've got this nice little flat quail that takes grilling very well. My favorute marinade is simply seasoned olive oil, that way you can still taste the quail
I've sold hundreds of quail in the many restaurants I've ran with probably a dozen different recipes howver my favorite is a Texas recipe where you place a jalapeno under the breat, wrap it in a strip of bacon and smoke it lighty. I doesn't get much better then that.

December 26, 2004, 11:50 PM
Quail are good. and a .22 or a 410-gauge work very well.

Prep how the guy does above and I usually grill the breasts after a good marinade in a lemon herb mixture.

Long Path
December 27, 2004, 12:22 AM
Forgot to ask... Do they taste any good?
Good Gawd, man, are you kidding?

Breast meat that is so white, it is literally translucent before cooking. You might well be able to read this text through it. The taste, after having been lightly breaded and fried or grilled or roasted-- is wonderful.

Do NOT overcook it. Don't let it dry out-- it's quite lean. Many like 'em fried alongside eggs.

You could use a .22 to harvest some, but you won't get more than a couple at a time.

One of the best things you can do to keep your covey safe is to thin out any feral housecats in the area. (NOTE: I'm not talking about pets-- I'm talking about wild cats living on game birds and song birds and the like.)

December 27, 2004, 12:51 AM
I tell you what we gonna do...only because we like you...[tm]

Cowdogpete and I will come up and do a "in the field demonstration" .

Forgot to ask... Do they taste any good?

Down here in the South we hang folks for asking that? We hang you twice if the gravy ain't homemade and the biscuits ain't froim scratch either. :D

Long Path - you ain't helping - giving him the lowdown like that. Not if you want to accompany Cowdog and I . :D

Yeah , I really really like bustin' quail....I'll have another helping of quail, biscuits and gravy too. ;)

December 27, 2004, 01:09 AM
One of the best things you can do to keep your covey safe is to thin out any feral housecats in the area. (NOTE: I'm not talking about pets-- I'm talking about wild cats living on game birds and song birds and the like.)For a moment, I was thinking you were suggesting my cat could catch a bird... As if. :rolleyes: ;)

I don't think we have any feral housecats, though... In fact, I don't think we have anything feral around my home...


All this leaves me with one problem... Apparently, half my family would rather just watch the quail, rather than eating any... Grr... :rolleyes:

I guess for now, I'll just spread seed around the major quail areas and keep their population growing...

December 27, 2004, 08:25 AM
Couple of questions:
1. Are you old enough to need a hunting license in your state?
Quail are game birds.

2. Are quail now in season in your area?

Good hunting and good eating.

December 27, 2004, 10:14 AM
I've done a lot of quail, and a ton of doves. I don't know why anyone would go through the pain of plucking any bird. Sure having them skin on fried is nice and all but hardly worth the trouble. Best to leave that to machines :). Skin them. About a 1/2" inch wide cut right at the bottom of the breast perpendicular to the keel bone. Strip the skin towards the head, down along the wing, and down the back. Cut the wings at the elbow joint, the legs where you want, and the neck just past the shoulders. Pluck out the tail and then gut them. They're damn good roasted with a garlic butter sauce, fried in flour and roasted with cream of mushroom soup, or boild in a combination of Uncle Ben's wild herb rice, onions, carrots, cellery and a bunch of butter.

Shooting them, its best to use light game loads in 6-8 shot or a .410 with 4s. Much else will tear them up pretty bad.


December 27, 2004, 03:34 PM
It's private land, and they're legally in season... But I'm going to wait untill I've got Hunter's Ed and a license...
There are probably also ordnances in my area against discharge of a firearm and whatnot...
So I guess this is all waiting a year.

I just still can't believe a bird the size of a quail can have any signifigant amount of meat on it...

December 27, 2004, 04:37 PM
It will be worth the wait, they make for some fine eating. I would think that if you are seeing that many around on the property you live on that there is a good probability of them being on nearby, more huntable land as well.
Be safe.

Long Path
December 27, 2004, 07:39 PM
Standard serving is two quail breasts per person. You can also get a tiny bit of meat off the legs, but that's pretty sparse.

December 28, 2004, 02:06 AM
If you plunge the quail into alomst boiling water for 20 seconds it plucks clean without any trouble and then you've got that beautiful skin to add flavor to whatever you do with it.

January 7, 2005, 09:46 AM
These are what's known around here as the "House covey". You don't shoot the house covey, you trap them. Trap what you want to eat and let the rest go. You start shooting at them and they will leave. (wouldn't you?) Use a live trap and you'll always have quail around.

As for preperation, pluck the entire bird, clean them and put in a salt bath for 8-10 hours.(in the refer) Get a cake pan 6-8" x oh say 12-14" and make a bed of stuffing. Take the quail and wrap in bacon strips and nestle them into the stuffing. (sounds soooo cozy don't it?) Bake at 350 for 30 min +/-. Serve with fried okra, pinto beans, green chili, and biscuts and milk!!!

See ya, I'm hungry :eek:

Fat White Boy
April 29, 2005, 03:13 AM
I take the skinned quail breast and wrap them with a strip of bacon. Bake in the oven over a bed of wild rice or rice pilaf or BBQ....DeeeLish!

Also be advised- The guts really STINK. At least Valley, Gambel's, Mountain and Mearn's do. The only thing that smells worse is Chukar. But they all eat great. Hungarian Partridge is good, also...

Dave R
April 29, 2005, 07:06 PM
A better way to clean them (and this works with birds up to pheasant size.)

Lay the bird on the ground, with the breast up toward you. Spread the wings out a bit.

Put a foot on each wing, as close to the breast as possible.

Sllloowwwwly pull up on the bird's two legs. If you pull fast, you may be holding double feathered drumsticks. But if you pull slow, you'll have skinned drumsticks and breasts in your hand, and everthing undesirable left on the ground. Just rinse and prepare.

First time I tried it was with Dove. Couldn't believe it was so easy.