What to do with a mess of Scaled quail and some rabbits? That was the question after our last winter quail hunt to New Mexico. A dinner party plan was being hatched. We’ll need some starters for the event was part of the discussion, so my wheels were turning and I remembered a dining epiphany from early last year, Panko.

Quail Hunting
Hunted Quail

Quail Starters:

I had seen it in the grocery stores but never really thought about how to use it. My first use was to make some crispy breaded shrimp and the lights turned on. Beautifully browned, crispy, light and so tasty I’d never forget this recipe. Salt the meat, coat with the Panko glue (dust the meat with flour then dip in egg and water mixture), coat the meat with the Panko, and fry in oil. Next time I used it was with sunfish and again such a mouthwatering delight. 

panko fried quail

Panko Fried Quail

Now the plan was to apply this to quail breasts. This little appetizer took only a minute and a half on each side to produce a quick finger food to start off the party. What else? Well having skinned the quail and filleted the breast meat off the carcasses; we had the raw material for a quail consommé, another perfect quail starter. 

quail consommé

Quail Consommé

Why consommé? Well don’t you want something fancy sounding for a dinner party? Of course, so I researched recipes on the internet and discovered that consommé is basically stock that is clarified using egg whites to produce a clear and deeply flavorful broth. It is a two-step process; make the stock, then clarify for the final consommé. This was prepared the day before the party. I reserved some of the vegetables used to make the stock and some of the meat from the quail carcasses, placed in the bowls before guests arrived and ladled the re-heated consommé into the bowls for the second starter. If nothing else goes right these quail starters will delight your guests or you can make these and savor them yourself.

Plucked Quail

Panko Fried Quail

Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Appetizer
Keyword: quail
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 4

    quail breasts (8 pieces), filleted

  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups

    flour

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten with 1 tbs water
  • 2 cups

    Panko bread crumbs

  • 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup

    vegetable oil 

Instructions

  • Salt the quail breasts and let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes.

  • Set up 3 bowls, one with the flour, one with egg and water mixture, one with Panko and ground pepper.
  • Dust the quail breasts in the flour, then dip in the egg mixture, (this is the Panko glue) and finally coat with the Panko.
  • This can be set aside or refrigerated until time to fry the appetizers.
  • Heat the oil to 350o F and fry for 1 ½ minutes per side.
  • Drain on a paper towel and serve while still hot.

Quail Consommé

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 15 mins
Course: Appetizer, Soup
Keyword: quail, wild game
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Stock Ingredients

  • 10 to 20

    Quail carcasses (breast meat removed) salted

  • 1

    Celery heart halved with leaves

  • 1

    Leek trimmed and halved

  • 1

    Yellow onion halved with skin on

  • 2-3

    Carrots peeled

  • 6

    Thyme sprigs

  • 6

    Italian parsley sprigs

  • 1 tsp

    cracked peppercorns

  • 2

    bay leaves

  • 4-6

    Button mushrooms or a handful of dried mushrooms

Consommé Ingredients

  • 1

    celery stalks

  • 1

    carrot

  • 1

    leek

  • 6

    button mushrooms

  • 2 sprigs

    thyme

  • 2 sprigs

    Italian parsley

  • 1 tsp

    peppercorns

  • 1

    bay leaf

  • 1/2

    of the quail meat

  • 10

    egg whites

  • quail stock
  • cheese cloth

  • salt
  • 1 bunch green onions

Instructions

For the Quail Stock

  • Place quail carcasses in a pot and cover with water.


  • Heat on medium high until just barely a boil then turn down to a slow simmer. Do not let the stock boil vigorously.
  • Simmer for 2 to 3 hours until the meat easily pulls of the carcasses.
  • Add all the other ingredients and simmer for ½ hour without stirring, then remove the carrots, celery and leek.
  • Slice in ½ inch pieces and reserve these for serving the consommé.
  • Simmer another ½ hour then fish out the quail carcasses and remove the meat.
  • Strain the stock ladling through a sieve into a new pot leaving behind the sediment at the bottom.

For the Quail Consommé

  • Pulse all the ingredients except egg whites in a food processor until chopped finely.
  • Mix in the egg whites in with the chopped vegetables and herbs.
  • Heat the stock until just barely simmering.
  • Add the egg white, vegetable and herb mix and stir every two minutes or so until the mixture forms a raft on top of the liquid.
  • I had some trouble here and did not have a very solid raft but it all worked out fine when strained to the finished product.
  • Using a ladle, create an opening in the center of the raft.
  • Ladle liquid over the raft every 5 minutes or so for an hour.
  • Ladle the finished consommé from the hole in the raft through a sieve lined with cheese cloth into a clean pot.
  • Place a few slices of celery, carrot, leek and some quail meat into bowls and ladle hot consommé into the bowls and serve.
  • Salt to taste when the consommé is finished and add some freshly sliced green onions or herbs to the final dish.

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Thad is the son of a beekeeper and has a degree in Biology. He enjoys many outdoor activities; hunting, fishing, bird watching, identifying native flora, gardening, kayaking, and hiking. He is a woodworking hobbyist and a wild game cooking enthusiast. He and his brother travel each fall to various Mid-western + Western states hunting various upland game + waterfowl species.