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Basic Tips

Basic Quail Cooking Instructions


General Tips

Be cautious not to overcook quail meat as it will become dry and tough. The quail is sufficiently cooked when the meat is slightly firm to the touch (similar to the feel of a cooked chicken breast) and juices run clear.

Semi-Boneless Quail, Boneless Quail Breasts, Seasoned Quail, Split Quail

Pre-heat grill to a medium-high heat (about 400°F). Apply a light coat of olive oil to the surface of the quail and season. Place quail on grill breast side down. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Flip the quail and cook for another 5-7 minutes. The quail is done when meat is slightly firm (it will feel like a cooked chicken breast) and juices run clear.

Oven: Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat with enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Season the quail then sear them in the pan until browned on both sides, about 3-4 minutes per side. Place quail in the oven and roast until cooked through and juices run clear, about 10 – 15 minutes. Basting the quail every few minutes with olive oil and/or pan juices will help them stay moist.

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Quail Legs

Quail Legs

Grill: Quail legs make a quick and tasty appetizer. The easiest way to cook them is in a basket (like one used to cook fish) or skewered like shrimp. Pre-heat grill to a medium-high heat. Grill the legs on one side for about 3-5 minutes then flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes. The meat is cooked through when it is firm and the meat has shrunk just slightly up the drumstick. Basting the quail legs with a glaze is a good way to keep them moist and add an additional layer of flavor.

Stove Top: Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat with enough olive oil to coat the bottom. When oil is hot (shimmering) add the quail legs and cook on one side for about 5 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes.

Whole Quail

whole quail

Whole Quail

Grill: Whole quail and stuffed quail are best cooked when seared over a high heat then allowed to finish roasting over indirect heat. On a gas grill turn the front and rear or left and right burners to medium-high and leave the middle burner off. On a charcoal grill make a pile of hot coals on each side and leave the middle clear. Apply a light coat of olive oil to the surface of the quail and season. Place quail on grill breast side down on the hot part of the grill. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until browned, flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes until other side is browned. Move quail to the middle of the grill for indirect cooking. Cook an additional 10-12 minutes until the meat is slightly firm and juices run clear.

Oven: Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Roast quail in oven about 15-20 minutes until the meat is slightly firm and juices run clear.

Stuffed or Marinated Quail


Stuffed Quail
Stuffed quail must be cooked slightly longer than unstuffed quail. Follow the basic instructions for whole quail but increase the roasting time to a total of about 20 minutes on the grill and 30 minutes in the oven.

Grilled Marinated Quail

12 Diamond H Quail – Semi-boneless, Whole, Boneless Breasts, or Breast Split
2 cups white wine vinegar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 tbsp lemon juice
4 whole lemon rinds
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp A-1 sauce
1 tbsp vermouth
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients and marinate quail for at least 8 hours. Grill over a medium hot fire, basting often.
Serves 6.

Quail With Honey Mustard Butter

Broken Arrow Ranchquail-honey-mustard
Quail Broiled with Honey Mustard Butter

8 Semi-boneless Quail
Honey Mustard Butter:
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly melted
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons honey
1 tbsp mashed roasted garlic
1 tsp fresh oregano, minced
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

For sauce:
¾ cup chicken stock
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Prepare the mustard butter by whisking together the above ingredients. (Simple version: mix only butter, Dijon mustard, and honey omitting the other ingredients.)
Melt the butter and brush it thoroughly inside and out the quail. Marinate the quail, covered and refrigerated, for 4 hours.
Preheat the broiler. Place the quail, breast side down in a shallow roasting pan. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 5 minutes, brush with the marinade, and turn over. Broil until golden brown on the outside but still juicy, 3 – 5 minutes more. The juices from the thigh should still be slightly pink when skin is pierced. Remove the quail and cover to keep warm.
Place the pan over high heat and add chicken stock. Boil, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened and reduced to about ½ cup. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Spoon sauce over the quail and serve.

Buttermilk Fried Quail

Joy of Cooking
Buttermilk Fried Quail

Quail – All cuts work well (semi-boneless, whole, boneless breast, legs)
Dredging for 8 whole quail:
3 cups buttermilk
2 Tblsp seasoned salt
2 Tblsp Louisiana style hot sauce
1 Tblsp minced garlic
2 cups all purpose flour
Peanut oil, for frying

Combine half of the buttermilk with seasoned salt, hot sauce and garlic in a large bowl. Stir to blend. Add quail to buttermilk mixture and refrigerate for 4 – 24 hours. Add flour to a large re-sealable food container or zip-lock bag. Add the remaining buttermilk to a medium bowl. Working with only a couple of pieces at a time, remove the quail from the buttermilk mixture and place it in the flour. Seal the container and shake to coat the quail. Remove the quail and shake off excess flour. Dip the quail in the buttermilk then place back in the flour. Shake again to coat quail, remove and shake off excess flour. Place the coated quail on a large wire rack to rest and repeat the battering process with the remaining quail.

In a Dutch oven or heavy pot heat about 4 inches of peanut oil to a temperature of 325°F. A frying/candy thermometer is helpful in achieving the right temperature. If the oil is too hot the batter will burn and if it is too cold the batter will absorb too much oil and be soggy. Add the quail to the hot oil in small batches. Fry until quail is golden brown and begins floating on the surface, about 5 -7 minutes. Remove quail from the oil and drain on paper towels.
Per person, allow 1 – 2 quail, 2 – 3 boneless breasts, 3 – 5 legs (for appetizers).


Quail Stuffed With Pecan Dressingchef-quail

12 Diamond H Quail – Semi-boneless or Whole
12 strips bacon
Salt and pepper
2 ½ cups bread crumbs
1 cup diced red bell pepper
¾ cup honey
¼ cup melted butter
1 egg, beaten
¾ cup raisins
1 cup pecans
¼ cup cream
Rub the birds with salt and pepper. Wrap each bird with a piece of bacon, securing with string or toothpicks. Make a stuffing from the remaining ingredients, stuff quail, and roast slowly in a 325ºF oven until golden brown.
Serves 6.

Broken Arrow Ranch
Spicy Maple Roasted Quail

8 Quail – Diamond H Ranch Semi-boneless or Whole Quail
Salt and ground pepper to taste
1/3 cup maple syrup
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp chili paste with garlic
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ tsp five-spice powder

Season quail inside and out with salt and pepper. Whisk together marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Marinate quail in the mixture, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours or up to 8 hours.
Preheat oven to 475ºF.
Drain the quail, reserving the marinade, and place them on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 375ºF. Roast, basting twice with the marinade, until the juices from the thigh are slightly pink when the skin is pierced and the flesh is still juicy, about 10 minutes more. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and leet stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 4.

Jalapeno Cornbread Poppers

12 Med/Large fresh Jalapenos
1 Box of Cornbread Mix (I used the Honey variety for the sweetness)
1 1/2 Cup Shredded Cheddar (1 cup for the batter..1/2 cup for sprinkiling)
1 Cup Corn..fresh OR canned is just fine


Slice each jalapeno down the center and carefully remove all the seeds and veins..set aside

In a medium bowl, mix up the Cornbread batter according to the box instructions, add in the Corn and 1 cup of the Cheddar.

Fill each Jalapeno half with some batter! Eh-hem, don’t over fill them!

Sprinkle them all with the remaining 1/2 cup of Cheddar.

Place them on a baking rack & sheet pan, bake them at 350 for about 15-20 minutes, or until the Cornbread is firm and cooked through. They will be puffed and cheesy too!

Quail Casserole
*from Gourmet Delight Recipes by Dianne Tumey

6 quail
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chicken bouillon
2 tbsp. sherry
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tbsp. cornstarch
chopped parsley

Sauté quail in butter for 10 minutes. Remove and sauté onion and celery for 5 minutes. Add corn starch to bouillon and add to skillet, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in sherry. Arrange quail in baking dish, pour sauce over birds, and sprinkle with parsley.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until quail are tender.

Hunter’s Quail
· Anonymous ·

4 quail
Salt and pepper to taste
4 cups cabbage, shredded
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
16 large cabbage leaves 2 Tbsp. butter
1 cup chicken broth
4 small apples, sliced
1/4 tsp. crushed thyme
1/4 tsp. crushed tarragon
1/4 tsp. caraway seeds
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Salt and pepper the quail. Combine shredded cabbage and bacon and stuff 1/4 of the mixture in the cavity of each bird. Wrap each quail with 4 whole cabbage leaves and tie with string. Put in Dutch oven on top of the stove.

In a saucepan, place the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes. Pour the sauce over the birds and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 25-30 minutes until tender. Remove string and cabbage leaves. Serve with sauce. Serves 4.

Barbecued Quail

12 Whole Quail Breasts
24 Quail Legs
Real butter
1 Pkg. Wild Rice Blend
1 Can Diced Green Chilies
12 Bacon Strips
Bay Leaves (optional)

Boil breasts and legs in water until partially cooked. Brown legs in butter and a squeeze of lemon until seared. Set aside and keep warm. Prepare rice and set aside. Place a spoonful of chilies in cavity of each breast; wrap each breast with one strip of bacon. Place each breast on individual pieces of foil- top each with a squeeze of lemon, a pat of butter and one bay leaf. Wrap foil tightly. Cook 12 quail packets on hot barbecue for 10-15 minutes, or until breasts are thoroughly cooked. Serve foil packets with rice and fried legs.

Grilled Quail Breast
24 Quail Breasts
1/2 Cup Baking Soda
3-4 Tablespoons Salt
Fat Free Italian Dressing
Cajon or Creole Seasoning
Garlic Powder and Pepper to Taste

Thoroughly wash the breasts; cover with water and add baking soda and salt. Cover and refrigerate 2 – 4 hours, stirring once or twice. Wash breasts and drain.
Pour dressing over and sprinkle with Creole seasoning, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix, cover and refrigerate 2 – 4 hours, stirring a couple of times.
Grill breasts over medium heat for about 20 minutes, turning half way through cooking time. Approx. 10 minutes per side. Baste during cooking with fresh Italian dressing.

Baked Quail
8 Whole Quail, Dressed
8 Slices of Bacon
8 Orange Slices
1/2 Cup Melted Real Butter
4 Tablespoons Orange Juice
4 Tablespoons Honey
Grated Orange Peel

Place quail in roasting pan. Cover with sliced bacon and orange slices. Mix remaining ingredients for a basting sauce. Bake at 375 degrees, covered for 20 – 30 minutes or until tender, basting frequently with sauce.

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