Manchester Farms of Columbia, SC, contributed this excellent recipe for one of North America’s native bird species – the quail. Once mostly associated with plantation hunting, quail have found a wider audience in recent years in grocery stores and restaurants.
As the nation’s old producer of quail, Manchester Farms is a family owned business that embraces the new accessibility of quail. The company was launched in the 1970s on a picnic table in the backyard of founder Bill Odom, where he dressed the spare birds himself.
Now the second generation of the family, including energetic daughter Brittney Miller, has made Manchester Farms a much bigger enterprise.
“People have childhood memories of quail being served with grits at Christmas,” Brittney told The State newspaper in Columbia. “The quail used to cost three times the cost of beef. Nowadays, the price is less than beef…What used to be fine dining is now common place.”
There are multiple ways to enjoy quail, a smaller cousin of the pheasant. They are versatile and easy to cook; since they are smaller than a chicken (about 4-5 ounces each), they don’t take as long in the oven. Traditional ways to cook them include wrapping quail in bacon and roasting them, or dipping them in flour and buttermilk before frying.
We especially like the recipe below, directly from Manchester Farms. (See the guest category on the Other Products lineup of this website if you're ready to try some quail):
Oven Roasted Quail With Lime Glaze
1. 4 raw quail (about 1 pound in weight)
2. All purpose flour for dredging
3. Salt and pepper to taste
4. 1½ tablespoon bacon drippings
5. 2 tablespoons lime juice
6. 4 tablespoons maple syrup. Honey, or agave
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Lightly dredge quail in flour, then lightly salt and pepper.
3. In a medium, ovenproof skillet, heat bacon drippings, then pan fry quail over medium heat, skin side down, for 3 minutes.
4. Turn over, then fry for an additional 3 minutes. Pour lime juice and maple syrup into the bottom of the skillet from the side, not over the quail.
5. Transfer to the oven, and roast for 5 minutes.
6. Remove, cut each quail in half, then serve immediately, pouring the maple lime glaze over the top.
Used with permission. Copyright © 2017 Manchester Farms All Rights Reserved
SouthernAirs developed some of these recipes, aiming as always for authenticity. Others are on loan from cited friends and relatives, or from authoritative sources with permission.