Two quails per person
A sprig or two of thyme
2 tbsp softened unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas7.

Lightly season the quails with salt, both inside and out. You can do this up to 24 hours in advance – it will add succulence to the bird.

Place the thyme and half of the butter inside the cavity. Rub the rest of the butter over the skin.

Place the quails breast side up on a heavy based roasting tin, a few inches apart so that they brown evenly.

Place on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 12 minutes, turning half-way.

The flesh should feel firm with just the slightest yield, and should be beige with just a tinge of pink. Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes.