Buttermilk Fried Quail
with Gigi’s Gravy
Who is Gigi? All my life she has been mom. Nowadays she is known as Gigi to my two little boys. Every Sunday morning, my mom cooks bacon for breakfast, reserving the grease from the bacon to make this lovely white gravy. We pour it over eggs, biscuits and fried chicken. Although fried chicken is a staple comfort food, it can be too big for a plated meal and way too messy as an hors d’oeuvre! Quail, however, is just the right size for a three course meal, or you can cut it into petite breast and leg pieces to make the perfect hors d’oeuvre. This recipe makes perfectly crispy fried quail every time.
- 1 tablespoon bacon grease
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 6 quail; semi-boneless
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rice flour
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ cup water
- 2 quarts canola oil
Make the Gravy
- In a small sauce pan, warm the bacon grease over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the flour and stir well. Let cook for a couple of minutes stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until flour turns from pale white to light golden color.
- Whisk a ½ cup of milk into the flour mixture until thickened. Whisk in an additional ½ cup of milk, stirring until thickened. Continue adding a ½ cup milk at a time until all of the milk has been added, making sure to whisk the mixture the entire time. Let the mixture come to a boil and then remove from heat. Stir in the salt and pepper to taste.
Prepare the Quail
- Cut each quail into equal halves. Lightly season with salt and pepper and marinate in the buttermilk for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- In a large bowl mix together the flour, rice flour, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and cayenne.
- Remove quail from the buttermilk, scraping off any extra. Reserve marinade. Place each quail into the seasoned flour and thoroughly coat. Add a ¼ cup water to the leftover buttermilk and mix well. Dip each piece of quail back into the buttermilk, and then back into the seasoned flour to give it a second coating. Place on a tray in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- *Heat the canola oil in a high-sided heavy sauce pot to 350°F. Be sure there are at least 4 inches of space from the oil’s surface to the top of the pot.
- Working in batches, submerge 4 quail halves at a time into the hot oil and let fry for 6 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oil and let drain on a wire rack.
- To serve, place quail on a platter and pour Gigi’s gravy on top.
*Please refer to our Deep Fat Frying Techniques recipe on our website for safe frying. For fried chicken, double the ingredients of the entire recipe using one whole chicken cut into 8 pieces.