1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon or more freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup lime juice or rice vinegar
1/2 cup nam pla or soy sauce
4 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn
Chopped fresh cilantro, mint or Thai basil leaves (or a combination), optional
Lime wedges, optional.
1. Cut along each side of breastbone of each bird, then straight down through where thigh meets body to get 2 semi-boneless halves from each bird. (Don't worry if skin holding thigh and drumstick together separates.) Combine other ingredients except oil, herb and lime wedges and marinate for at least an hour, or overnight in a refrigerator, if you have time.
2. Drain quail of marinade and strain and reserve marinade. Pat birds dry. If you have a skillet large enough to hold quail in one layer, put oil in it; if not, put 2 tablespoons of oil in each of two skillets. Turn heat to high and, when oil is hot, saute quail, skin-side down, until nicely browned, about 4 minutes. Turn and brown other side for 2 or 3 minutes, or until quail are cooked through. Remove to a platter and keep warm.
3. Lower heat and remove any excess fat from skillet (there may not be any). Add strained marinade, along with 1/4 cup water, and raise heat to high. Cook, stirring and scraping any browned bits from bottom of pan, until liquid is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Spoon over quail and serve immediately, garnished, if you like, with herbs and lime.
Yield: 4 servings.
Notes: As you can see from the "after" picture, these were rended and devoured. Leftovers are good too. And since I didn't have fresh herbs on hand this time of year, I added about 1 tsp of dried cilantro leaves to the marinade. This had a very savory flavor which I most enjoyed.Posted by Jennifer at February 12, 2008 8:30 PM | TrackBack