California Quail

I can’t believe I haven’t written about Fatted Calf Fig and Sausage Stuffed Quail. I first made it in September of 2010 and have cooked it one or more times a year since. It is so good and rich and well, different. Here’s the way Fatted Calf announced it:

Finally Figs
Finally, figs!  Beautiful, fat, dusky figs oozing with droplets of ambrosial sap from nearby Capay valley! That means, finally, fig and sausage stuffed quail.   And not just any quail but beautiful, plump, naturally raised Wolfe Ranch (http://wolfequail.com/) quail from Vacaville.
Farmer Brent Wolfe has been raising quail and other poultry his entire life and has developed his own breeding stock.  That means that the quail spend their entire lives on Brent’s Vacaville Ranch.  And Brent’s quail grow big, much bigger than your average quail, making them just perfect for stuffing.
The quail come straight from the farm to the Fatted Calf kitchen where they take a brief bath in brine that keeps them moist and delicious.  They are then stuffed with perfectly ripe figs encased in a blanket of lemon and herb sausage.   Roast in a hot oven or on the grill and as the skin turns golden brown and the sausage juices baste the quail internally, the fig becomes molten caramel.  Savor the first bite, finally!

I’d have to say that the quail was every bit as good as it sounds

A little research told me that less than a week after we dined on the Fatted Calf Quail, we left for Kyiv, Ukriane to attend son Brian’s wedding service and meet Natasza’s parents. Quail seemed to slip down the list of writing subjects.

In any case, we took pictures the first time and again when we grilled it last week, so here’s making up for lost time.

Could not be simpler to prepare:
• Brown the quail.
• Roast the quail.
• Make some elegant accompaniments.

Naked Quail stuffed with sausage and a fat fig

Brown the quail; roast the quail

It took about 8 minutes to brown the quail on all sides, then another 12 minutes or so to get it to an internal  temperature of 160°F; a total of 20 minutes.

Look at that fig… that is something. Served with corn and bell pepper.

Here is the 2013 version of stuffed quail. This time it is not fig season, so the stuffing is “merely sausage.” Now that we live in Reno, we get our quail whenever we get to San Francisco and the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. We met son Eric and Alison there for the weekend, as they had come from Maine for a special concert.

The quail was not our only Farmers Market score. We brought back bags of dry beans from Rancho Gordo and Iacopi Farms where we also landed some tiny artichokes… and, of course, other Fatted Calf treats.

bell peppers and our stuffed quail, naked, but oiled

roasting on our Salt Rox

Generally speaking, if it takes 20 minutes to cook by one method, it takes 20 minutes by another. In any case, we’re cooking to an internal temperature. The bell peppers are along for the ride, but turned out to be perfectly cooked.

peppers and quail onna plate to rest

spinach on the ROX

three minutes and done

stuffed quail on a bed of roasted golden bell pepper and spinach

Oh. My. God. Dis is good, just like they said.

5 thoughts on “QUAIL

  1. Maybe i’d give it a try if you hadn’t included the photo of that beautiful bird…


  2. Why don’t you invite me once in a while, brother?


  3. The roasted, stuffed quail looks amazing. I probably missed it somewhere along the way, but what about the stuffing recipe. Is it in a previous “Eats” blog?


  4. Pam,
    Fatted Calf does the boning and stuffing and still sells the stuffed bird for about $12. I just buy and cook.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s