Wok-Seared Marinated Quail with Spicy Asian Noodles
Wing shooting is a popular sport in the Lone Star State, and a cookbook from Texas would not be complete without a quail recipe! I know when hunting season is upon us because many of my friends and relatives bring me quail they have bagged. Over the years, I have learned two important things about cooking quail: Make sure all the buckshot is removed, and use a great marinade. This particular marinade also lends great flavor to most types of red meat.
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 2 tablespoons crushed fresh ginger
- 1 large shallot minced
- 1 jalapeño seeded and minced
- 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
- 5 tablespoons sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 12 semi-boneless quail see Chef's Note
- 1/4 cup sherry or red wine
- 1-1/2 pounds linguine
To prepare the marinade, place the soy sauce and vinegar in a bowl and add the garlic, ginger, shallot, jalapeño, and five-spice powder. Mix well and then gradually whisk in 4 tablespoons of the sesame oil and 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a steady stream until completely incorporated.
Place the quail in a large dish and pour half of the marinade over them (reserve the remainder for the noodles). Turn to coat, then cover and marinate in the refrigerator for up to 2, hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Pour the remaining 1 tablespoon each sesame oil and vegetable oil into a large skillet or a wok and set over medium heat. Remove the quail from the marinade and add to the skillet. Sear on all sides for 2 to 3 minutes, until browned, and then transfer to a shallow roasting pan. Deglaze the skillet by adding the sherry and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen the solids. Pour the sherry mixture over the quail and transfer the roasting pan to the oven. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes and then check for doneness by inserting the tip of a sharp knife into the wing bone area; if the juices run clear, the quail are cooked.
While the quail are roasting, prepare the noodles. Bring a saucepan of salted water to a boil and add the linguine. Cook as directed on the package; typically, linguine takes 8 to 10 minutes to cook al dente. Drain the linguine (do not rinse under running water) and place in a serving bowl. Add the reserved marinade and toss to combine.
Transfer the quail to serving plates; if there are any drippings left in the pan, pour over the quail. Serve with the noodles.
Chef's Note: Store-bought semiboneless quail, as the name suggests, have had most of the bones removed by machine; only the wing bones and drumettes remain, making them much easier to eat.