Quail is a delicately flavored game bird that is naturally low in fat and high in protein. Weighing in at around 4 ounces, the size of this bird makes it great for appetizers or a delicious main course.

quail3Quail cooks perfectly in your Ronco Rotisserie Oven and comes out tender and delicious. I used the standard rotisserie basket (included with every rotisserie) for this recipe. Served with mashed butternut squash and a green vegetable, this recipe makes for a wonderfully elegant holiday dinner for four.

Ingredients

• 8 semi-boneless quail, 4-5 ounces

quailEspresso Orange Marinade

• 3 cups brewed espresso or dark brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
• 2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
• 1/4 cup honey
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon mixed peppercorns, ground or chopped
• 1 tablespoon of whole coriander seeds, ground or chopped
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• 4 garlic cloves, ground or chopped
• 1 teaspoon of cumin
• 1 dried Guajillo pepper

For Stuffing
• 8 half-moon slices of orange
• 2 tablespoons coffee beans

If you have a pestle and mortar, use it to grind your peppercorns, coriander and garlic. If not, simply use a chef’s knife to coarsely chop these ingredients

Directions

quail51. Prepare marinade by combing espresso, orange juice, honey and soy sauce. Whisk together to blend.
2. Stir in ground peppercorns, coriander, cinnamon, garlic and cumin.
3. Rinse your Guajillo pepper and coarsely chop with a Chef’s knife. If you like it spicy, add in all the seeds of the pepper. If not, leave the seeds out. (Guajillo peppers tend to be on the milder side and add a sweet and spicy flavor.)
4. Rinse and dry quail and add to your espresso marinade. Allow quail to marinade for 6-12 hours.
5. When ready to cook, remove quail from marinade and pat dry. Stuff each quail cavity with an orange slice and a few coffee beans. (Because quail is so small, the flavors of the orange and coffee really penetrate the meat from the inside while cooking.)
quail66. Truss each quail by tying together legs, securing the wings to the body and place securely into your rotisserie basket. (Trussing is optional when using the rotisserie basket. Just make sure no legs or wings are sticking out of the basket.)
7. Place rotisserie basket on the spit and cook for 30 (medium rare) to 45 minutes (well done). Let quail rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Chef’s notes-
Many people like their game birds, duck, quail and pheasant medium rare. If you are not one of these people, cook for the full 45 minutes. Also, because these birds are stuffed, the cooking time is a bit longer than un-stuffed. If you choose to not stuff your quail with the orange and coffee, only cook for 15-25 minutes.

These little birds might be small, but with this recipe, they are big on flavor.  Enjoy!

-Chef Paja