You’ll often have seen shots of fancy dinner scenes or banquet scenes in movies and shows serving Quail.
With so much visual provocation and drama surrounding it, the bird has become somewhat daunting to cook.
It’s usually considered a gourmet ingredient and associated with high-class dining and cuisine.
This may be because the French had once highly favored this not-so-big flightless animal for cooking.
But these days, we see the ingredient show up more in traditional foods from Poland, Mexico, India, Portugal, and so on.
If you’re curious to know what does Quail taste like? Keep reading to find out.
What is Quail?
Part of the Galliformes order, this bird cannot fly and is mid-sized.
The word Quail is actually a collective name for about 130 bird species that fall within the same genre.
They usually have light feathers and are brown in color.
One distinct feature the bird has is the six-feather plumage on its head.
Even though the birds are flightless, they can glide for certain distances.
However, they are terrestrial for most of their life span.
The birds are highly sought after as a game for hunting and for their eggs.
Each female will lay up to 20 eggs in one go.
There are two primary subclasses on record within the species, the Callipepla, or new-world quail family, and the Coturnix, also known as old-world Quail.
Most types of quails are edible, but because they can be consumed, most have gone extinct due to overhunting and poaching the birds.
What Does Quail Taste Like?
Since it’s one of the most desired ingredients in the world of gourmands, there’s a lot of pressure on this smallish bird to taste good.
And you can bet that it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to flavor.
Picture a chicken but make it smaller, about the size of your fist, and concentrate all that flavor into that tiny body.
Yup, that’s precisely what a quail is.
It is a white meat with the punch and richness of dark meat and can hold its own when paired with intense spicy accouterments.
The meat is also more succulent and juicer than poultry.
For some, the taste is somewhere between a duck and a chicken, but it can also heavily depend on how the animal is raised and fed.
Usually, the quails bred on farms have flavors similar to chicken since both animals have similar feed and lifestyles.
The wild ones will have a more pronounced gamey flavor to them.
The bones of the farm-raised quails are more tender when cooked since they have unique diet patterns for these birds.
Even their eggs are highly sought after because of the richness of the yolk.
The adaptability of the meat is very useful when you’re trying out new recipes with unusual ingredients.
As Quails are part of the pheasant family along with turkeys, chickens, and ducks, the palate range is about the same as their larger, more common cousins.
However, their taste is bolder and fuller with a hint of earthy notes.
How to Cook and Serve Quail?
Roasted, broiled, boiled, sauteed, or even deep-fried are just a few ways of how you can incorporate this ingredient into your meals.
Quails have long been used as a source of protein for different communities across the globe.
They’ve been domesticated for thousands of years as a food source.
The best way to enjoy their meat is by sautéing or by stuffing the bird and frying them.
The ingredient also does well with savory stews and traditional soups.
People in Asia enjoy the bird in curries, sweet and spicy dishes, and also as a deep-fried snack.
It’s also enjoyed raw in a few parts of the world, but that’s not advisable because eating raw meat can be dangerous for health.
Some people also enjoy having two or three at a time since it’s a rather petite portion of fowl.
The meat of Quails is packed with protein, calcium, zinc, iron, and essential vitamins.
They are a healthier choice than other pheasant meat, provided the bird has not been feeding on hemlock seeds.
It is rare, but it should be noted that coturnism can be developed if the birds have been fed these particular seeds.
Are you looking to impress your guests at your next dinner party? Why not try preparing quails as the main dish? The birds are just the right size, and each guest can have one per serving.
They’re also an easy dish to prepare and plate.
Not to mention the great wine parings you can come up with, thanks to its robust flavors.
It’s the preferred alternative to other white meats due to all its health benefits.
And, if you’re wondering about ethical consumption, so that wild species are protected.
There’s a vast market for captive-bred quails, so it will be easy to find farm-reared ones.