Elegant, delicious, and healthy – if these are some of your goals for a special meal, this recipe is just what you’re looking for. This unique dish uses the often overlooked quail, a small bird that packs a large punch of protein and flavor in this main course. This recipe is fantastic for any celebration – holidays, an anniversary, or even a night entertaining a special guest. Don’t give in to the temptation of a traditional, grain-laden baked dish when Paleo options like this one exist – this has all the taste and flavor of an amazing main course, while allowing you the dietary benefits your body needs to thrive.
The flavor of quail is similar to the dark meat of turkey or chicken – strong, but not overbearing. They are fairly small and easy to work with – if you’ve roasted a whole chicken before, the experience will be pretty similar. Quail isn’t always available in a typical grocery store, so some planning may be required to purchase this ingredient. Try checking local meat markets, farmer’s markets, or local poultry farms to see what might be available in your area. There are also several online outlets that ship frozen quail to certain areas. In a pinch, you can use small, whole chickens for this recipe – just be careful to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
This main course works best when accompanied with other festive dishes. For a traditional holiday meal, add some hearty side dishes, especially those primarily containing root vegetables. If you are preparing this dish for a romantic dinner with a loved one, consider scaling the recipe by half and pairing with a sweet dessert, like these chocolate-covered strawberries.
Apple-Stuffed Quail With Grapes Recipe
- 4 whole, plucked quail;
- 8 bacon slices;
- 1 lb. red seedless grapes;
- 1 apple, minced;
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, chopped;
- 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, minced;
- 4 rosemary sprigs;
- 2 garlic cloves, minced;
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided;
- 1/2 cup chicken stock;
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;
- Preheat your oven to 425 F.
- Rinse the quail and pat dry; season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In a bowl, combine the apple, cranberries, minced rosemary, garlic, and olive oil; season to taste.
- Stuff the quail with the apple-cranberry mixture and wrap with two bacon slices. Secure with cooking twine as needed.
- Take half of the grapes and place them on the bottom of a roasting pan; mash lightly with a potato masher or fork.
- Place the quail on top of the mashed grapes and pour in the chicken stock; surround the quail with the remaining grapes.
- Top each quail with a rosemary sprig.
- Roast in the oven for 1 hour or until the quail are fully cooked.
- Serve the quail with the roasted grapes.