Enter your email address:

“Spicy Seared Quail with Kale Slaw”

I’m in New York doing all sorts of things, one of which is to go through 100 years worth of family stuff that has been collected since my great grandparents. I have to decide what goes into a garage sale, what gets donated, what goes to the dump, and what gets boxed up into a nice clean plastic box and tucked away.

Why do we humans collect so much stuff? Does it make us feel all protected, as if we’ve built a fortress of books and clothes and dishware around ourselves?

And furthermore, why is it so hard to get rid of said stuff? I feel nostalgic every time I see something get hauled away. Like today, we gave my first red bicycle to a boy who didn’t know how to ride yet. And I immediately had flashbacks to the moment I set sail on that thing and could officially ride without training wheels. It was a glorious moment, I remember it vividly. I hope the blond curly haired boy enjoys it as much as I did.

Because at the end of the day… it’s not like I’m going to sit down and read all of the old magazines my great grandfather had stacked in piles. As romantic as it may sound. And so some stuff we must part with.

This has nothing to do with this recipe, except to explain why I didn’t post it a few days ago when I wanted to. I’ve been elbow deep in boxes of Beatles records and dishware and driving the truck to the dump and waiting in line at Costco in order to buy more plastic boxes.

My life is so glamorous.

And speaking of glamorous, you should make this recipe! It is two recipes really, both of which are wonderful and can be made separately or apart. And you can get quail at most places these days. Mine was actually left over from a cooking class I taught at Whole Foods. So it ain’t wild, but it sure was convenient to have it all plucked and de-boned for me. I tell ya. And this spice mixture will work so well on any poultry! So quail is not mandatory.

Here is what you will need to make the quail: quail that has been deboned, except for the legs and wings, smoked paprika, cayenne, ground cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, whole wheat flour, olive oil, salt and pepper

Here is what you will need to make the kale slaw: kale (the purple kind is pretty), apple (I like Pink Lady, but any will do), poblano pepper, olive oil, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper

To start you drop the kale, apple, and poblano into a food processor and pulse it.

A course chop is all you need, you want it to have some nice chunks in there. I like running into that bite of apple.

Transfer to a bowl and add the salt. This will encourage it to start tenderizing quickly.

Add your white wine vinegar.

Then your balsamic vinegar.

Then your olive oil.

Stir and set aside in the refrigerator to let the flavors meld.

Meanwhile, make the spice mixture by combining all of the spices for the quail along with the flour.

Give it a stir.

Pat the quail dry, then drop it in and coat on both sides.

Like so. A gentle coating will do.

Heat the oil in a skillet on medium-high heat, then drop the quail in. They should sizzle, that is how you know the pan is hot enough.

Brown for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and crispy. Remove from the heat and sprinkle with salt and pepper to help them crisp up.

Remove the kale from the refrigerator and season with salt, pepper, and the vinegar and olive oil to taste. Stir and serve on a platter.

Add the quail over the bed of kale slaw and serve.

These dishes can also be served separately. The kale slaw is such a fun alternative to cole slaw. Plus I like saying the name. Kale Slaw, Kale Slaw, kale slaw.

Enjoy this guys + gals!


“Spicy Seared Quail”

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 2-4 servings

“Spicy Seared Quail”


  • 4 whole quail, deboned
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or grape seed oil


  1. Rinse the quail and pat them dry. Season them with salt and pepper inside and out.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the spices with the flour and mix until fully blended.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Drop the quail in the bowl of spices and toss so that each piece is well coated.
  5. Place them in the skillet and let them brown, about 4 minutes on each side.
  6. Remove to paper towels and serve immediately, preferably alongside your favorite salad or grilled fruit.


“Kale Slaw”

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

“Kale Slaw”


  • 1 bunch purple kale
  • 1 apple
  • 1 poblano pepper, seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Combine the kale, apple and poblano in a blender and pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir. Let sit in the refrigerator so that the flavors meld. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.


Pin It

“Squirrel Brunswick Stew with Acorns”


Young squirrel is good simply quartered and fried. Old squirrel is good stewed. When in doubt, it is safest to braise or stew a squirrel. Sometimes, for flavor and for whimsy, I like to add acorns to this recipe. Native Americans used to eat acorns, usually by grinding them and then boiling them. They are …

Pin It

“Homemade Gift Idea: Potted Cheese”


Here I am with another homemade holiday gift idea! On a scale of 1 to 10, how far along are you with your Christmas shopping? I have a little poll on my sidebar that you can take. I’m about 50%… it’s a Christmas miracle really, since I usually am down to the wire. Here is …

“Chicken in Coconut-Lime Peanut Sauce”


I get such a craving for Asian food sometimes. I’m not very good at cooking it myself, there’s something about the flavor combinations that aren’t intuitive to me while cooking, but are so delicious when put in front of me at a dinner table. In my recent piece for Tasty Kitchen, I featured one of …

“Apple Cider Potato Salad”


It begins with an Amish man. Like most of my stories do. Okay fine it doesn’t begin with him, it begins with a 5 pound sack of potatoes that we purchased at a run down store in a vacant town across from this abandoned house that I really want to buy and fix up but …

“Wild Garlic Soup”


Quick! Take to the front yard. Or the back yard if you prefer. It’s wild garlic season, and in another month it will be much too hard to pull up. They look vaguely like a bunch of chives, though decidedly more hearty. There’s something woody looking about them at the base. They will smell faintly …

“Whiskey Glazed Wild Turkey Breast”


I know you’ve been waiting on the edge of your seats, clicking refresh, just dying to know what I did with all of that turkey meat I hauled off the field and field dressed. Right? Right?…. Is this thing on? The moment has come! First up, is Whiskey Glazed Turkey Breast. Turkey and whiskey, what …

“Buttermilk Fried Rabbit”


I know it is a bit early, but I bet some of you are already wondering what to make for Easter. Are you feeling a little provocative? A tad tongue-in-cheek? Then this is what I recommend. It was part of my Arkansas cooking extravaganza a few weeks ago and I thought it was high time …



I used to think of it as the strange stuff I’d see in strange gas stations on my strange cross country road trips. It was usually in stick form, a long tubular stick, wrapped in a coating of plastic, with a peculiar name like… Slim Jim, not because it made you slim, but because it …

“Jalapeño Grits”


As you may know by now, based on the affair I’ve been having with sriracha, and my infatuation with chicken wings… I like spicy foods. I love spicy foods. I would make sacrifices for spicy foods. I think I’ve run out of hot sauces to try. Well I thought I did, but then my friend …