Quail is the most delicious little bird, its skin and flesh often enhanced by rubs and spices that add to its natural flavour. Though they are small, they respond well to a slightly longer cooking time than would perhaps be imagined for something of its size. Fifteen minutes is generally perfect.
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 dried chillies, finely sliced
1 tbsp cumin seeds, roasted and ground
1 tbsp fennel seeds, roasted and ground
80ml/3fl oz extra-virgin olive oil
Put the salt, garlic, chillies and ground seeds into a bowl. Pour over the olive oil and mix together well.
Rub the mix all over the birds using your fingers. Put in a covered container and then in the fridge to let the quail marinade. This can be done as far ahead as the day before.
When you are ready to cook, heat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas7. Put the birds on a roasting tray – but do not overcrowd; use two trays if necessary. Roast in the middle of the oven for 15 minutes.
Remove and let them sit for 10 minutes before serving.Reuse content