We love quail just about any way you can cook them. Fried, grilled, baked, broiled, you name it, and we have probably tried it. And enjoyed the outcome. This one mixes the magic of grilled bacon with the outstanding flavor of grilled quail.
The glaze that gets brushed over the birds just as they finish grilling consists of a reduction of orange juice, champagne or sparkling wine and maple syrup. A pinch of red pepper flakes adds just a touch of heat to the otherwise sweet and tangy glaze. Besides the grilled quail, this glaze is perfect for just about any game meat. Try it on grilled venison or fried wild turkey strips. I think you will enjoy it as much as we do.
Do yourself a favor when you make the glaze. Use real maple syrup. Yea, it costs a bit more than mass-marketed, maple-flavored pancake syrup, but the real stuff is worth the extra coin. One of the best maple syrups I have ever tasted comes from a small family owned company named The Pileated Forest located in Northern Michigan. The true maple flavor really shines in this glaze, not to mention what it does for a stack of pancakes or waffles.
10-12 bone-in quail breast
1 pound bacon
Salt, pepper and dried rosemary
1 cup orange juice
1 cup champagne or sparkling wine
½ cup real maple syrup
Pinch of red pepper flakes
In a saucepan over medium heat, bring orange juice and champagne to a low boil, stirring frequently, until reduced by half and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add the maple syrup and red pepper flakes and stir to mix. Reduce heat to low while quail grills.
Season each breast with salt, pepper and a pinch of rosemary. Wrap each breast in a slice of bacon and pin with a toothpick. Grill the quail over a medium heat bed of coals for 8 to 10 minutes per side or until the bacon is cooked through. Be careful not to overcook the quail and dry them out.
A few minutes before the quail are finished, brush on the glaze. Flip the quail and glaze the other side. Grill for an additional 3 to 5 minutes to set the glaze. Serve hot off the grill.
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