This is something I have never eaten, so who would have thought I would ever cook it and actually love it! My boyfriends who also like to try new foods, bought them and brought them home to try. These little beauties are delicious, easy, and there is a lot more meat on them than you might think! Two per person is what you should count on. Ben is Moroccan and cooks a lot with these preserved lemons, so I thought he would like the flavor in this recipe as well. I got this recipe from About.com and there is also a recipe for making these lemons if you can’t find them in the stores. Whatever you have to do, this recipe is amazingly delicious!
We did not refrigerate the quails after adding the spice rub, but went right ahead and started cooking them!
Makes 4 Whole Roasted Quail with Cured Lemons
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
• 4 whole quail, rinsed, patted dry
• 8 slices cured lemons, rinsed, patted dry
• salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon cumin
• 1/4 teaspoon coriander
• 1/4 teaspoon paprika
• pinch cayenne
• 1 cup chicken broth
• 1 slice cured lemon, minced fine
Season the insides of the quail with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place one slice of cured lemon inside the cavity of each quail and tie the legs together. In a small bowl combine the olive oil, cumin, coriander, paprika, and cayenne. Rub over the surface of each quail. Refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove quail from fridge. Brown the quail on all sides, in a heavy, oven-proof skillet, in a little olive oil, over medium-high heat. When the quail are browned, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste, and top each breast with one slice of cured lemon. Roast for 10-15 minutes, or until the quail is cooked to your liking. Target internal temp is between 145 and 165 degrees F.
You can cook all the way through like chicken, but quail is at its juicy best if you leave the meat a little pink. Remove the quail from the pan (hold on a plate, lightly covered with foil), and pour off any excess fat. Deglaze the pan with the broth, and place over high heat. Add the minced cured lemon, and boil until the liquid is reduced by 2/3. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve the quail whole with some of the pan juices spooned over.