I really blew it by not taking a photo of last night's dinner—they were so cute! Quail sounds like a big deal, but it's really a breeze if you buy them already semi-boned. I get the frozen D'Artagnan quail at Dewar's; they defrost in a nanosecond. I halved the recipe, although Andy felt that two quail apiece was not nearly enough. He doesn't even think quail are worth the effort it takes to get the meat off the bones, but I do. The sauce was yummy.
Quail with Bacon and Honey
1/3 cup honey
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage
8 semi-boneless quail with wings and legs attached
8 thin slices bacon
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 fresh rosemary sprigs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350°.
In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, vinegar, sage, and salt and pepper to taste.
quail with salt and pepper, then tuck the wing tips under the body of
each quail. Wrap each bird lengthwise with a slice of bacon.
2 quail side by side. Run 2 parallel skewers through both birds. Repeat with the remaining quail. Trim the skewers to
fit in an ovenproof skillet. (The D'Artagnan quail come with a V-shaped metal skewer holding them together, so I didn't bother with this part.) Generously brush the birds with the honey mixture.
olive oil in the skillet over moderately high heat. Add the quail, breast side down, and sauté for 2 minutes. Turn and cook for 2 minutes on the back side. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the quail are firm and nicely caramelized, about 15 minutes.
Transfer the quail to a serving platter and pour off any fat in the skillet. Add the wine and rosemary to the skillet and return to moderately high heat. Simmer, scraping the bottom of the skillet with a wooden spoon, until the caramelized bits dissolve and the mixture has the consistency of a sauce. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Strain the sauce through a sieve held over the quail and serve immediately.