Southern Fried Quail

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Quail have been a popular game bird in the south for generations. Hunters would hunt the bird to help feed their families. While quail hunting is still a popular hunting sport, you can also buy farm raised quail.

I personally don’t think quail has much of a game taste. I enjoy quail meat as well as quail eggs.

The quail you buy in the store will often come four to a package. The birds are cut so that each whole bird lay open. This makes it easier for grilling and cooking. You can order farm raised quail from local farmers or find it in the local farmer’s markets.

To fry quail I like to cut the bird into four pieces. Let your quail fully defrost. Cut the two leg/thigh pieces off. Next cut on either side to remove the spine and your left with the two breast/wing pieces. Quail are small so you’ll probably want to plan one bird per person.

4 Quail, defrosted and cut into four pieces (two leg/thigh and two breast/wing)
2 c Flour, all purpose
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Onion Powder
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper (optional)
1/2 c Buttermilk
1 Egg
2 tbs Water
Cooking oil for frying

In a medium bowl combine flour and seasonings together.

In a separate bowl beat one egg, mix together with buttermilk and water. The water just helps to lessen the thickness of the buttermilk and egg.

Dredge each quail piece in the flour mixture, then coat in buttermilk mixture , then dredge once more in the flour mixture. Set the dredged quail pieces aside and allow to come to room temperature, about 25 minutes.
In a medium skillet add vegetable oil for frying. I added about 1/2″ of oil to my cast iron skillet. Heat the oil over medium heat until oil is hot for frying. You can test oil by adding a pinch of flour. If it sizzles the oil is ready.
Add quail pieces in batches, it took me two batches with four quail. Fry on each side about four minutes until golden brown.
Remove cooked pieces and set on a paper towel lined pan or plate to allow excess oil to drain.


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  • Reply
    May 16, 2016 at 11:11 am

    Can't wait to try these…will serve over cheese grits.

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