With this bacon-wrapped quail, I am back to my family’s recipes! If I think of my childhood, Sunday lunches were often built around a classic pan-roasted chicken; but when my mom wanted to make me really happy, the secondo was a plate of roasted quails.
Quail meat is low in fat, so you need to be careful cooking it, or you will get a dry, almost not edible, final result. The most common way to taking care of these birds’ meat is to pair it with a fatty ingredient. That’s why my mom used to:
- wrap the quail in bacon strips
- stuff the inside with a piece of sausage.
My version is slightly revisited, because:
- I use the guanciale instead of the sausage (but, honestly… I cannot chose which filling is the best)
- I add some mediterranean ingredients (taggiasca olives and cherry tomatoes), which I believe make this a perfect roast quail, the Italian way!
Curious about this recipe but you don’t have the ingredients? Just PIN IT for later 🙂
But if you have everything you need… let’s start cooking your bacon-wrapped quail. Hope you will love them as much as my wife did 🙂
- a pan with a cover
- a fork
- a knife
- 8 quails A standard serving is 2 quails per person
- 8 bacon strips Long ones, otherwise use 2 per quail
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 bay leaf better if fresh
- q.s. EVO oil
- 8 guanciale sticks
- 30 taggiasche olives I love the taggiasche ones, but other olives will work.
- 16 cherry tomatoes
- 0.5 glass white wine
- Start cleaning the quails, paying attention to remove the few feathers left.
- Cut a thick slice of guanciale and obtain from it 8 large sticks. Start filling each quail with a guanciale stick.
- I personally use two olives per quail. Stuff those into the bird. The other olives will be used later.
- Now wrap each quail with the bacon strips. The breast is the dry part of the meat, so it's important that the bacon sorrounds it.
- Finely chop the garli cloves and the rosemary. In a pan (my choice is a dutch oven, it's a perfect tool for this recipe), add a tbsp of EVO oil and the herbs, at gentle heat. When the smell starts, …
- … add the quails and raise the heat to medium-high. Sear every side of the birds, for about 10 minutes, until the bacon looks crispy.
- While the quails are being roasted, cut the tomatoes (just "open" them). When the birds are roasted, add two cherry tomatoes on top of each quail, and some olives in the pan.
- Spray with the wine, let the alcohol vanish and then cover the pan.
- Lower the heat and let it gently cook for 30-35 minutes. Eventually they should look like in the picture.
- Your quails are ready to be served and enjoyed! I serve them with a simple salad, EVO oil and balsamic vinegar.
- a nutrition note. Quails are very low in fat and rich in protein, definitely very good meat from a nutrition point of view. Calories and fat content in this recipe come largely from the guanciale, bacon and olives
- ingredients are for 4 people, but the pictures are for 2 (me and my wife 🙂 )